Airline satisfaction jumps, despite an unclear future
Wednesday 16 June 2010
US consumers are more satisfied with their airlines for the second straight year, according to results of the US American Customer Satisfaction Survey released June 15.
The national survey, which tracks US customer satisfaction across a variety of industries, showed that passenger satisfaction with airlines was up three percent on last year - although the results were not reflected in a simultaneously-released survey conducted by specialist flight comparison site Airfarewatchdog.com.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) said that lower passenger volumes and stable fuel prices are playing a part in keeping customers smiling, along with the fact that consumers are getting better at avoiding fees.
An increase in the number of people using carry-on luggage to avoid checking fees, for instance, has had the dual effect of making customers believe they are saving money and reducing the instances of lost bags.
However, ACSI suggests that the feeling of satisfaction may not last for much longer given the increasing fees and recovery in passenger numbers, something borne out by the results of an Airfarewatchdog.com survey of 2,100 travelers.
The website found that passengers are increasingly disgruntled at paying more for services on board, with individuals naming non-alcoholic drinks, clean bathrooms, clean blankets and pillows and anti-germ products as items they believe should be provided free by the airlines.
George Hobica, the founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, said that passengers may not be able expect a return to the old days anytime soon.
"Industry observers think that airlines may return to profitability this year or next, so maybe they'll be able to provide some of the creature comforts they took away in the lean years," he explained.
"However, passengers will have to compete with labor unions, who will also be looking to regain some of the wages and benefits they gave up when the industry was at its low point."
Interestingly, Southwest Airlines topped the ACSI survey in terms of customer satisfaction and the Airfarewatchdog.com survey in terms of “bang for your buck,” suggesting that the airline has the right idea when it comes to how it treats - and charges - its passengers.
The ACSI also found that the merger of Delta and Northwest seems to have a negative impact on customers’ impressions of Delta, as the airline dropped 3 percent.
Service with a smile - the friendliest flight attendants in the US
Data from Airfarewatchdog. com
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...