Airline customer satisfaction declines


Satisfaction with airlines has declined 2.7 percent in the past year, according to a new American Customer Satisfaction Index report.

The report, based on a survey of 12,172 people between April 2017 and March 2018, showed the decline after “a year of customer service crises and rising ticket prices,” according to ACSI.

Those surveyed said the areas that need improvement are flight crew courtesy, baggage handling and reservations, with seat comfort getting the lowest rating.

Passengers are the most satisfied with the check-in process, and they “appear to have become accustomed to” baggage fees, the report says.

According to the index, the top-ranked airline was Southwest Airlines, which reclaimed the lead from JetBlue Airways — “likely a reflection of low fares and focus on customer service,” according to ACSI. JetBlue and Alaska Airlines tied for second place.

Southwest is the second-largest airline at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. JetBlue launched service to Atlanta last year.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines ranked in the middle of the pack, at sixth place out of nine carriers.

Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines tied for last place.

“Customer satisfaction is going to be lower for the ultra-low-cost carriers, which are focused more on price than quality, and the scores reflect that,” ACSI managing director David VanAmburg said in a written statement. “As costs rise and seats shrink, a focus on customer service and loyalty will set some airlines apart.”

Low fuel prices in 2014-2016 led to a decline in air fares, but more recently increases in jet fuel prices and employees’ pay have driven costs up. The ACSI report noted that competition is limited: 80 percent of the U.S. airline market is controlled by four big airlines: United, American, Delta and Southwest.

The survey found that business travelers are more likely to complain than leisure travelers. More than a third of business travelers said they filed a complaint with the airline, versus 11 percent of leisure travelers. Yet business travelers indicated in the survey that they are more satisfied with airlines.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Delta to use facial recognition in Atlanta’s international terminal
Delta to use facial recognition in Atlanta’s international terminal

Delta Air Lines plans to launch what it calls the nation’s first “biometric terminal” by deploying facial recognition at multiple points in the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson. At the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal and Concourse F at the Atlanta airport, Delta plans to use facial recognition at check-in...
Georgia jobless rate dips below U.S. average
Georgia jobless rate dips below U.S. average

Georgia’s economy added 12,000 jobs last month as the state unemployment rate ticked down below the national average for the first time in more than a decade, according to a report Thursday from the state Department of Labor. The jobless rate dipped from 3.9 percent in July to 3.8 percent in August — a sign that, even if the U.S. ...
Gap to hire 400 workers as it launches holiday hiring event
Gap to hire 400 workers as it launches holiday hiring event

Gap Inc. will hire more than 400 seasonal workers to service its stores in the metro Atlanta area during the holiday season. The retailer expects to fill positions in its stores, call centers and distribution centers. The company will hold holiday hiring events at all Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores on Oct. 6, from 10 am to 2 pm...
Smart padlock protects front porch deliveries
Smart padlock protects front porch deliveries

The BoxLock is designed to prevent theft of delivery packages left by the front door. In addition to the anti-theft aspect, packages are protected from bad weather, which has victimized me. Nothing like having a box soaked in a thunderstorm, etc. The BoxLock smart padlock solves both these problems. According to BoxLock, this is the first of its kind...
More Stories