Passengers Are Increasingly Dissatisfied with Air Travel

A growing number of customers are dissatisfied with air travel and ticket prices, according to a recent study from MarketTools.

The research revealed that 43 percent of customers are uncomfortable aboard the plane, 41 percent are frustrated with ticket prices and fees, and 34 percent are dissatisfied with in-flight service.

MarketTools also found a growing number of airline travelers are using social media channels to voice complaints and airlines are not responding. The study found that 10 percent of respondents have used platforms such as Facebook and Tiwtter to share complaints about poor airline experiences and a mere 24 percent received a response directly from the airline. In addition, only 30 percent of travelers were asked to provide feedback to an airline, and 75 percent did not receive any follow-up from the airline.

“This represents an opportunity for airlines to do a better job of gathering passenger feedback and closing the loop on customer interactions,” said Justin Schuster, vice president of enterprise products for MarketTools, in the study. He recommends companies use data analytics tools to “capture, analyze, and take action on customer feedback” to gain the “insights they need to make improvements that foster satisfaction and loyalty, leading to better business results.”

The study shows the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to improve passenger experiences during the past year might have gone unnoticed. Fifty-five percent of passengers were unaware of these airline passenger protection rules. Of the 45 percent who reported they were aware, 55 percent had no knowledge of the recent changes to the airline passenger protection rules that took effect just last month.

The top five issues experienced by respondents included the following: 

  •  a lack of notification about flight delays of more than 30 minutes (28 percent);
  •  incorrect or inadequate information about flight delays (24 percent);
  • lengthy aircraft delays on the tarmac of more than three hours without deplaning (18 percent);
  • a lack of airline response to a complaint about flight delays or cancellations (14 percent); and
  • hidden or unexpected fees added during the ticket buying process (14 percent)

The study also asked participants to name which domestic airline provided the best customer service. Southwest Airlines ranked first with 34 percent, followed by Delta Airlines with 14 percent, Jet Blue Airlines with 11 percent, and American Airlines and Continental Airlines with 7 percent each. 

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