Is it the bells and whistles why travellers pick an airline? Think again...News / OnlineBy Karthick Prabu | March 19, 2014Share This article was originally published on Irrespective of stellar in-flight entertainment systems and on-time performance, Australians pick price (unsurprising) as the most important factor when booking flights.Australia-based OTA Wotif surveyed about 15,000 citizens about their loyalty towards airlines - about 53% of respondents are loyal to a the flag carrier Qantas, but 56% of the group said loyalty would change if the airline was no longer majority owned by home-grown organisations.Also, 76% of respondents have signed up for at least one frequent flyer programs, and 24% reported that they haven't.Top loyalty programs signed up by respondents are: Qantas Frequent Flyer - 86%Velocity Frequent Flyer - 58.1%Emirates Skywards - 14.5%Air New Zealand Airpoints - 5.8% When asked the respondents whether they would book an airline that they haven't heard of - majority (73%) of them answered in negative, while 27% stayed positive. The reasons cited for not booking were - safety considerations, service and reliability of the airline, and lack of awareness of the airline's reputation.The top five key factors the respondents chose when booking a domestic flight are: PriceAvailability on travel datesDirect flightMost convenient time of departure/arrivalPreferred airline Interestingly, the preferred airline factor takes a back seat when it comes to the execution part of actually reserving a flight ticket. This pattern is the same in international flight reservation too: PriceAvailability on travel datesDirect flightPreferred airlineStopovers Wotif Group's executive general manager for flights and packages, Helen Demetriou, says: "Despite a fear of the unknown (brand), it just goes to show that scoring a great deal is a high priority."Share this quote Survey methodology: It was conducted via email in the month of December 2013 among Wotif's newsletter subscribers.NB:Qantas image via Shutterstock.