Airline Passengers Voice Displeasure Online

With the price of gasoline soaring past $4 per gallon, many summer vacationers are scouting the Interwebs for deals on cheap flights.

But that's not the only air travel-related data you'll find online. There are also the results of a new survey that show a large portion of flyers are dissatisfied with ticket prices, in-flight services and overall comfort aboard airplanes.

Compiled by MarketTools, a San Francisco-based online feedback-management enterprise, the study found 43 percent of passengers were dissatisfied with the overall
comfort aboard planes, 41 percent had complaints about ticket
prices, and 34 percent scoffed at in-flight services.

A growing number of disgruntled flyers–24 percent–vented via social networks, according to MarketTools, which found 10 percent used Facebook
and Twitter. When it came to direct contact with carriers, only 75 percent received any follow-up to their complaints.

MarketTools analysts found it surprising that a majority of travelers (55 percent) knew nothing of the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, a provision of the bipartisan Federal Aviation
Administration reauthorization bill approved 93-0 by the Senate in March. The legislation, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) covers food, water, restroom access, complaint hot lines, and cabin temperatures and ventilation that must be provided to passengers, while also regulating the length of flight delays.

Among those surveyed by MarketTools, 54 percent had experienced a problem covered under the passenger-protection law. The top five issues experienced by respondents included:

  • 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)

The study did not solely focus on the negative. Here are the carriers respondents said deliver the best customer service:

  • Southwest Airlines (cited most often, by 34 percent of
  • Delta Air Lines (14 percent)
  • JetBlue
    (11 percent)
  • American and Continental airlines
    (tied with 7 percent each)

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