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Airline Customer Satisfaction is on the Rise

A new study released Wednesday revealed that airline customer satisfaction rose for a seventh consecutive year. According to J.D. Power’s 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, overall passenger satisfaction improved to 762 out of 1,000, a new record high. The data showed that newer planes, improved overhead storage compartments and cheaper fares helped satisfaction numbers…

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A new study released Wednesday revealed that airline customer satisfaction rose for a seventh consecutive year.

According to J.D. Power’s 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, overall passenger satisfaction improved to 762 out of 1,000, a new record high. The data showed that newer planes, improved overhead storage compartments and cheaper fares helped satisfaction numbers increase.

The study also found that overall satisfaction with airlines increased by six points, with both traditional and low-cost carriers improving. Customers reported they were satisfied by the aircraft; better experiences with boarding, deplaning and baggage; reservations; and overall airfare.

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While most aspects of airline satisfaction increased, carriers continue to struggle meeting customer expectations for device connectivity, with in-flight services scoring lower than any other factor in the study.

“With a single exception, airlines in North America show consistent improvements across all the factors, from booking a ticket to handling luggage,” J.D. Power Travel Practice Lead Michael Taylor said in a statement. “Operationally, it’s never been a better time to fly. Passengers perceive greater value in ticket prices, checking in has never been easier, passengers are more satisfied with the actual aircraft and airlines have improved their baggage-handling performance.”

“The exception is in the in-flight services factor, which includes food, beverage and entertainment systems,” Taylor continued. “Today’s passengers expect trouble-free connectivity for personal devices and airlines are challenged to keep pace with the technology that can achieve that goal. This is important because passengers are far more likely to have a positive experience with an airline if they are entertained during their flight.”

The J.D. Power study also rated individual airlines, with Alaska Airlines ranking highest among traditional carriers for the 11th consecutive year and Southwest Airlines ranking highest among low-cost carriers for the second consecutive year.

In terms of the biggest improvement over the last year, Allegiant increased 58 points to an overall score of 725 and Air Canada increased 25 points to 734.

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United Puts Financial Losses Into Shocking Perspective

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With the demand for travel at an all-time low thanks to stay-at-home directives and severe travel restrictions, United Airlines on Thursday put the industry’s financial losses into a stark perspective.

According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, which had privy to view a virtual town hall held by the carrier, United is losing “over $100 million a day” due to the impact of the coronavirus global pandemic, United president Scott Kirby said.

Kirby conducted the town hall along with current CEO Oscar Munoz, who is stepping down in favor of Kirby later this year.

As The Points Guy pointed out, United cut almost 70 percent of its schedule in April with further cuts likely for May—as all airlines have. In fact, predictions going forward are dire. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said they expect airlines to lose a collective $61 billion in the second quarter of this year (April, May and June).

United said it will pursue some of the $25 billion in grants available for employee compensation from the U.S. government stimulus package, as well as consider whether to apply for some of the $25 billion in loans. But this is all uncharted territory for the industry, even after the financial devastation from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“One of the lessons from this is, our stress test from 9/11 wasn’t stressful enough,” Kirby said in reference to United’s preparations and need for cash to keep operating.

United has not decided whether to permanently retire any jets as a result of the coronavirus, according to The Points Guy.

“If we want to emerge stronger, if we want to emerge the world’s leading airline on the other side of this, we have to have flexibility,” he said.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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