Waiting for someone?

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
April 17, 2012, 3:02 PM GMT+0

Brits say longest they've waited is 46 min, but admit to leaving others waiting for just 19 min

Have you ever been kept waiting for someone to meet you? And how long have you left someone waiting for you?

Of Britons who have been kept waiting, the average longest time they've hung around for someone is just over three-quarters of an hour, our poll shows. Meanwhile, of those who say they've ever kept someone waiting, the average longest time they admit they've not shown up for is a little over a quarter of an hour.

Could people be underestimating just how long they've kept their appointments hanging around, or are the ones waiting just exaggerating how long they've been delayed?

When it comes to timekeeping in general, our poll also shows that over half of Britons say that they're usually early, over a third say they're usually on time, and one in ten admits to usually being late.

Waiting for others

  • Of those who have been left waiting for someone, the average longest amount of time respondents say they've hung around for is 46 minutes
  • This rises to 54 minutes among the 18 to 24 year age group, compared to the 43 minutes averaged by people aged 60 or over
  • People in London have waited on average 15 minutes longer than those in the North of England (54 minutes compared to 39 minutes respectively)

Leaving others waiting

  • Of those who have left someone waiting for them, the average amount of time people admit to is 19 minutes
  • A discrepancy emerges between the sexes, with men saying the longest they've left someone waiting is on average 21 minutes – while women admit to no longer than 16 minutes on average
  • Younger people on average admit to having left someone waiting for 25 minutes, while people aged 60 or over say the longest time they've left someone waiting is just 12 minutes on average

See the survey details and full results here

Related story: Running late? 51% Britons say they're 'usually early', but couples divided on whether partner is usually on time