Just in time for the summer travel season kicking off Memorial Day weekend, MarketTools, Inc., the leader in software and services for enterprise feedback management (EFM) and market research, has issued a study on travelers’ flying experiences over the past six months, highlighting a number of sources of dissatisfaction with airlines. Topping the list of areas of passenger dissatisfaction is overall comfort aboard the plane (43 percent not satisfied), followed by ticket prices and fees (41 percent not satisfied) and in-flight service (34 percent not satisfied).
The study also showed that a growing number of travelers are using social media channels to voice their complaints about airlines. Ten percent of respondents have used social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to share complaints about poor airline experiences. However, only 24 percent of those who communicated their complaints through social media received a response directly from the airline, indicating that airlines should be paying much closer attention to the voice of the customer in social media channels.
“Despite the fact that dissatisfaction with key elements of airline travel remains high, our study reveals that only 30 percent of travelers had ever been asked to provide feedback to an airline via a customer survey or other means, and of those customers who offered feedback, 75 percent did not receive any type of follow-up from the airline,” said Justin Schuster, vice president of enterprise products at MarketTools, Inc. “This represents an opportunity for airlines to do a better job of gathering passenger feedback and closing the loop on customer interactions. Solutions such as MarketTools CustomerSat give leading companies the tools they need to capture, analyze, and take action on customer feedback to give them the insights they need to make improvements that foster satisfaction and loyalty, leading to better business results.”
Surprisingly, despite the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to improve the airline passenger experience by enacting the airline passenger protection rules more than a year ago, commonly referred to as the Passenger Bill of Rights, the majority of passengers surveyed (55 percent) were unaware of these airline passenger protection rules. Moreover, of the 45 percent who are aware of the Passenger Bill of Rights, more than half (55 percent) were unaware of the recent changes to the airline passenger protection rules that took effect just last month.
The majority of those surveyed (54 percent) had experienced at least one of the issues covered by the DOT’s airline passenger protection rules. The top five issues experienced by respondents include:
• Lack of notification about flight delays of more than 30 minutes (28 percent)
• Incorrect/inadequate information about flight delays (24 percent)
• Lengthy aircraft delay on the tarmac (more than three hours without deplaning) (18 percent)
• Lack of airline response to a complaint about flight delays or cancellations (14 percent)
• Hidden fees/unexpected fees added during the ticket-buying process (14 percent)
When asked which domestic airline the respondents believed provided the best customer service, based on everything they knew about the airlines, Southwest Airlines was cited most often, by 34 percent of respondents, followed by Delta Air Lines with 14 percent and JetBlue Airlines with 11 percent. American Airlines and Continental Airlines tied for fourth place with seven percent each.
About the Study
MarketTools conducted the study between May 13 and May 14, 2011, using MarketTools ZoomPanel to survey American adults, age 21 and older, who flew with a U.S. airline at least once in the six-month period from November 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011. Completed surveys numbered 511. The margin of error for this study is +/- 4.5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
About MarketTools® CustomerSat™ Software and Services
MarketTools CustomerSat is a Web-based enterprise feedback management (EFM) solution used by the world’s leading businesses to capture, analyze, and act on feedback from customers, employees, and partners. MarketTools EFM consultants are available to help CustomerSat customers get the most out of their investment in EFM, from design of satisfaction programs to advanced analysis of survey results. Through the use of comprehensive analytic tools, action management technology, and the expert knowledge of customer satisfaction consultants, MarketTools helps clients optimize satisfaction and loyalty programs that deliver high-value business impact.
About MarketTools, Inc.
MarketTools (markettools.com) is the leading provider of software and services for market research and enterprise feedback management (EFM). The company is focused on providing leading organizations the actionable customer insights they need to make better business decisions that lead to high-value business impact. As the first company to make online surveys widely available on the Web, MarketTools continues its market leading position by providing the broadest range of powerful, accurate and integrated customer insight technologies that empower companies to become the most customer-centric organizations in their industries. The MarketTools premier portfolio of technology-based insight brands includes CustomerSat™, TrueSample®, Zoomerang®, ZoomPanel® and ZoomPanel Tech™. MarketTools is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and European headquarters in London.
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