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Survey shows dissatisfaction among commercial airline passengers

The reason that many people utilize luxury transportation services is to ensure that they have a completely satisfying experience without all the headaches that come with less expensive transit options. Unfortunately, however, there aren't nearly as many private jets in the air as there are luxury SUVs on the road, so commercial flights are essentially the only choice.

With ridiculous fees and less-than-congenial amenities, airlines have rather low satisfaction ratings, according to a recent study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The 2012 North America Airline Satisfaction Study revealed that air travelers were less pleased with their experiences between May 2011 and April 2012 than they were in the previous year's study.

The survey, which had more than 13,500 participants, asked recent fliers to rate their satisfaction in a number of categories, such as cost, flight crew and in-flight services, on a 1,000 point scale. Overall, traditional airline carriers received an average score of 647, which is four points less than in the previous report.

"The airline industry is caught between trying to satisfy passengers who demand low prices, providing passengers with high-quality service and comfort, and contending with the economic realities of profitably operating an airline," Stuart Greif, a vice president at J.D. Power, said in a statement. "Passengers want it all, but they are not necessarily willing to pay for it all. Carriers often must make decisions for financial reasons that they know will negatively impact passenger satisfaction, and therein lies the conundrum."

The main problem that many travelers have with airlines is the extra fees they are now required to pay to check bags. In the study, passengers who had to pay checked bag fees had an average satisfaction rating 85 points lower than those who did not.