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Dissatisfaction grows for air travellers

02 January 2019 09:12

Air passengers from Northern Ireland are the most satisfied

Air passengers from Northern Ireland are the most satisfied

The number of travellers satisfied with flying has fallen over the last two years over frustration with how airlines handle complaints, new research reveals.

According to a poll by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), 82% of passengers are satisfied with their flying experience, down from 83% in April 2018, and 90% in 2016.

Passengers from London are the least satisfied with flying (76%), while the survey found travellers from Northern Ireland are most satisfied (87%).

Improve procedures

The CAA commissioned the poll of over 3,500 adult air passengers as part of its latest UK aviation consumer study, which highlights the need for airlines to improve complaint-handling procedures.

Some 60% of people who were dissatisfied or neutral about how a complaint was dealt with said this would make them think twice about booking with that airline in the future.

The proportion of recent flyers satisfied with how a complaint was handled was 64% - the same score recorded in the spring survey. In October 2017 the figure was 53%.

CAA policy director Tim Johnson said: "While the numbers show a positive story overall, it is important for the industry to continue to improve in areas where consumers are less content, such as complaint handling.

"This is particularly important given new findings in this survey showing how poor complaint handling can make many consumers think twice about flying with an airline again."

Compare favourably

A spokesman for trade association Airlines UK, which represents UK carriers, said: "In the vast majority of cases passengers have an enjoyable travelling experience.

"More people are choosing to fly than ever before and airlines are committed to consistently improving their offering whilst delivering travel at lower cost.

"Sometimes things do go wrong and it is good to see that these results show further improvements in satisfaction around complaints handing, which compare favourably with other transport modes."

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