Populus Poll

The Saga Populus Panel is the largest research panel, gauging the attitudes and opinions of today's over 50s in the UK.
Saga/Populus Panel May 2018: Saga Populus logo

Saga/Populus Panel May 2018

Executive summary

Regional airports
- Half (49%) of Saga respondents said that they preferred to fly from regional airports. A similar proportion said that they would be willing to pay more (48%) or change airlines (53%) to fly from their preferred regional airport.
- Less than one fifth (16%) said they preferred to fly from larger airports.
- Among those who preferred to fly from regional airports, the most popular reasons given were living closer to a regional airport (89%) or that regional airports were less busy (72%) than larger airports.
- Of the 16% of Saga respondents who said they preferred not to fly from regional airports, roughly half said this was because larger airports offered more flight destinations (51%), had better transport links (49%) or had better facilities (45%) than regional airports.
- The most used airports were Gatwick (39%), Heathrow (38%) and Manchester (20%), followed by Stansted (14%), Birmingham (13%) and Bristol (10%).
- Gatwick (20%), Heathrow (19%) and Manchester (15%) were also the three airports Saga respondents most often said they preferred to fly from.
- The most highly rated aspect of Gatwick (77%), Heathrow (76%) and Manchester (78%) was the availability of flight information. The most poorly rated aspect of each was the cost of parking. At least a quarter of Saga respondents rated each as poor (33% for Gatwick, 44% for Heathrow and 27% for Manchester).
- When it came to airports, queuing at security (60%) was the aspect Saga respondents found most annoying, followed by queuing at check-in (55%) and the cost of food and drink (54%).

GP visits and illness awareness
- In the last year, half (51%) of Saga respondents reported having visited a GP as the result of a new illness, while six in ten (61%) said they had visited a GP regarding an existing condition.
- Older respondents were more likely to have visited the GP about an existing condition. Half (50%) of 50-59 year olds said they had been to the GP about an existing condition in the last year, compared with 72% of 80-89 year olds.
- Four in five (82%) said that blood in their urine would prompt them to go the GP than younger respondents. Blood in a stool (79%), severe pain (75%) and new lumps (71%) would reportedly also prompt a majority of Saga respondents to visit their GP. Women (81%) were more likely than men (63%) to say that new lumps would prompt them to visit their GP.
- A majority of Saga respondents felt they knew the symptoms of arthritis (67%), bowel cancer (62%) and skin cancer (60%). 18% felt they knew the symptoms of cervical cancer.
- Women tended to report a higher awareness of the symptoms of illnesses than men. For example, 73% of women and 62% of men said they were aware of the symptoms of arthritis.
- Saga respondents most often said that they learnt of symptoms of cancer through government campaigns. At least half of Saga respondents reported government campaigns as the source of awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer (64%), lung cancer (58%), breast cancer (58%), prostate cancer (56%) and skin cancer (55%).

Volunteering
- A third 34% of Saga respondents said they currently volunteer their time to help others. Older respondents were more likely than younger respondents to report volunteering their time, with 24% of 50-59 year olds saying they do so compared with 38% of 70-79 year olds.
- Of those who said they volunteered, most (63%) did so once a week or more.
- Saga respondents that volunteered most often cited giving something back to society (55%), a belief in supporting the community (54%) and as a means of keeping active (44%) as the reasons for having volunteered.
- Of the two thirds (66%) who said they do not currently volunteer, a third (34%) said they do not have the time to do so, while a fifth (19%) said they were unable to volunteer as they were still working.
- Supporting older people (33%), helping conservation groups (20%) and helping children with education or reading (20%) were the most popular areas of volunteering amongst those that said they already volunteered or were interested in volunteering.

Populus interviewed 11,095 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 22 and 28 May 2018. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk.

Contact us

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.


Lisa Harris

Head of Communications

01303 774716


Angela Clifton

Deputy Head of Communications

01303 776504


pressoffice@saga.co.uk