Published on Thursday, September 5, 2013

Study: Air issues keep one in five travelers from fulfilling trip

Airline delays and cancellations keep almost one in five travelers from fulfilling their trip, and the airline industry needs to take a fresh look at the way it handles these events, says a new study released today by PhoCusWright and Amadeus.

"Passengers First: Re-Thinking Irregular Operations" argues that the airlines need a more customer-centric approach.

They need to communicate better about what is happening and provide more alternative choices for travelers, taking into account the individual reasons they are traveling to help get them where they want to go.

The study found that delayed or canceled flights kept 18% of all passengers worldwide, and a third of all passengers in China, from fulfilling the purpose of a trip booked in the past year, and that the most common frustration was insufficient communication.

The study interviewed leading academics, industry trade organizations, global airlines, and 2,800 travelers from Australia, Brazil, China, the U.K. and the U.S.

Global airline passengers' most common frustrations
1. There was insufficient communication about what was happening.
2. I was not offered any compensation.
3. There was conflicting communication about what was happening.
4. I was not able to fully achieve the original purpose of my trip due to the flight issue.
5. I had to pay additional costs for alternative arrangements.

Key findings from the report:

• Deliver a standard service approach to disruptions: Airlines should consider incorporating a standard service approach to deal with passenger itinerary changes. When severe events occur, airlines with such an approach in place merely extend their processes to a larger number of travellers rather than attempt to implement a new, reactive process.

• Offer "intelligent re-accommodation": Automated re-accommodation technology may provide efficiencies for the operational staff, but it does not always solve the underlying passenger itinerary disruptions. Airlines may want to implement an intelligent one-click solution that empowers passengers to choose alternatives most relevant to their needs. Airlines should also consider investing in systems to gain a greater understanding of each passenger's preferences and reasons for travelling, including passengers who book through indirect channels.

• Provide transparent communication: In every market surveyed, except China, insufficient communication was cited as passengers' top frustration. Introducing an integrated, cross-departmental approach to customer service will enable airlines to provide authoritative, personalized, proactive communication.

• Moderate delays hurt the industry more than big ticket disruption: One of the greatest challenges facing airlines is not major weather, but rather the far more regular moderate delays of four hours or ess that matter most to customers. In all markets, at least 50% of travllers have experienced a moderate delay on one or more flights in the past 12 months, with this figure highest in China (74%) and Brazil (67%). Instances of significant delay are far less common.

• Travellers are increasingly venting frustration via social media: Globally, around one third of travellers surveyed said they had posted comments about delays to their friends on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, with higher numbers sharing experiences amongst their immediate family or friendship groups using other means. The study calls on airlines to try to understand the impact of social comments made in relation to disruption.

To view the report go to

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  • serial complainers ?

    some people think it's clever to complain about everything. It some how big notes them, like, I won't put up with us, cos I'm important. Feel like their should be 2 queues at airport gates, 1 for passengers who don't care if they arrive DEAD ON TIME or, the sensible ones, who want to arrive in 1 piece & hope the airline gets whatever the delay problem is, sorted ASAP, but would rather be delayed than fly on an un-airworthy aircraft.

    By Michael Anderson, Monday, September 9, 2013

Mole Poll
Would you fly on a Boeing Max when it resumes service?
yes 44.83 %
no 55.17 %

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