It appears that the pandemic has produced an interesting side effect according to a new survey: happy airline passengers.
Survey Says: Airline Passengers Are HAPPY In The Pandemic Era
Airline passengers do have a lot of be thankful for this year. Airports and airplanes are not crowded, change fees have been eliminated, and the overall travel experience, except for the masks, is just smoother than it was before the pandemic.
That may be why the American Customer Satisfaction Index found that airline passengers satisfaction reached an all-time high for the period between April and September 2020. ACSI notes that “less crowded flights mean better service for those who do fly.”
Southwest Airlines finished out with the top ranking while Delta finished number two. Both improved upon last year’s rankings. While Southwest was lauded for the ease of check-in and best overall value, Delta was praised for its seat blocking policy. Middle seats will continue to be blocked on Delta until at least March 31, 2021.
Food and beverage did not play a noticeable role in overall satisfaction. Neither did flight schedules, which were rated about the same as last year. Despite significant cutbacks.
But while the onboard experience enjoyed high ratings, call center ratings declined. The culprit: refunds. Long waits to reach agents coupled with delays in processing refunds left many passengers angry.
With demand still depressed, do not count on full flights if you will be traveling in the months ahead. Even with widespread vaccinations, travel will likely remain depressed for at least the first half of 2021 and potentially the whole year. That may mean continued comfort onboard…
I guess I am the only one who would gladly trade the return of full meals onboard for crowded flights. Honestly, though, this has been a great year in terms of the ease of the travel experience. I do appreciate the lack of lines and extra seats onboard. I still look forward to getting back to “normal” if we ever do get back to normal…