Travelers Rate the Airline Companies

With Memorial Day behind us, it's full steam ahead for summer vacations. Whether you're planning a vacation at the timeshare you own, with a timeshare exchange, or at a budget-friendly timeshare rental, the odds are you'll be flying to your destination.

So just in time, Consumer Reports has released its National Research Center survey on air travel. This is the first time since 2007 that the venerated leader in consumer investigation has assessed airlines.

In the 2007 survey, 18 airlines were included, while in 2011, due to financial crises, mergers, and takeovers, only 10 major airlines make up the industry.

The survey ratings are based on the experiences of 15,000 Consumer Reports readers on over 29,000 domestic round-trip flights during the past year. Airlines were scored based on questions about overall satisfaction, check-in ease, cabin-crew service, cabin cleanliness, baggage handling, seating comfort and in-flight entertainment, as well as the issue of additional fees.

A Consumer Reports press release stated that 8 of the 10 airlines received low marks on seat comfort, and several carriers got low marks on other quality-of-flight measures including cabin-crew service, cleanliness and in-flight entertainment.

Some carriers have done a better job than others, as evidenced by a wide difference in overall satisfaction scores, from Southwest's lofty 87 to US Airways' lowly 61, stated the press release.

Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways topped the list overall. Southwest was the only airline to receive top marks for check-in ease and cabin-crew service. Passengers also gave Southwest high grades for cabin cleanliness and baggage handling. The latter, says the CR report, might reflect the fact that Southwest remains the only airline that lets you check two bags free of charge

JetBlue was the only airline to outscore Southwest for seating comfort and was the only carrier in the CR ratings to earn high scores for in-flight entertainment. Its seatback TV screens feature 36 channels.

US Airways occupies the same bottom spot as it did in CR's 2007 survey. In addition to its low overall score, survey respondents gave it the worst marks of any airline for cabin-crew service.

The CR report pointed out that the proliferation of added fees further contributed to passengers' low opinion of today's flying experience, and even to their decision of whether to fly at all. Forty percent of readers who say they are flying less listed "increased fees" as the major reason - far more than those blaming flight delays, poor service, etc. Paying fewer extra fees had a direct relationship to passenger satisfaction, the release said.
0 Responses

Post a Comment