Social Media Analysis Shows Major Airlines Struggle with Consumer Satisfaction
Crimson Hexagon analysis of online opinions reveals important new considerations when determining consumer satisfaction with the airline industry.
Posted Jun 29, 2012
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Crimson Hexagon, a provider of big data analysis software that delivers business intelligence from social media and other data sources to global corporations, today announced the availability of its recent study of customer satisfaction with nine national and regional airlines as expressed in more than 800,000 social media posts.

Crimson Hexagon compared its study to the Airline Quality Rating (AQR), an annual industry ranking of the highest quality airlines and found several eye-opening results. Relying predominantly on data provided to the Department of Transportation by the airlines themselves, the AQR study does not factor consumer conversations about airline service levels into the quality equation.

By comparison, Crimson Hexagon's analysis of more than 800,000 on-topic social media posts identified key consumer insights based on four categories of consumer discussion, including general positive or negative sentiment, pricing, services and in-flight experience. The study focused on nine national and regional airlines with domestic routes includingDelta, United, Southwest, American, U.S. Airways, Continental, AirTran, JetBlue, and Virgin America.

Key findings of the study include the following:

  • JetBlue takes the top spot in the Crimson Hexagon study with levels of positive consumer sentiment that far exceeded all other airlines analyzed.
  • AirTran, which ranked first in the traditional AQR assessment, only made it to the number four spot when ranked by Crimson Hexagon's study.
  • Several smaller regional airline carriers were ranked higher for overall customer satisfaction by the Crimson Hexagon study compared to the AQR assessment.

"Crimson Hexagon's airline consumer study reveals that social media analysis adds an important new dimension to traditionally gathered consumer satisfaction data," said Crimson Hexagon Vice President of Marketing Wayne St. Amand, in a statement. "Our analysis of the airline industry shows that to fully understand customer perceptions of quality of service, a comprehensive, multichannel research approach must be taken. Consumer perceptions of quality gathered from social media need be part of the mix."

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