UK CAA survey finds decline in passenger satisfaction

A survey by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has found that overall satisfaction with flying has declined, while consumers have also become less satisfied with their experience on-board since the survey began in Spring 2016.

Publishing the results of its latest UK Aviation Consumer Survey, the CAA found that the percentage of consumers who were satisfied with the overall travel experience during their last flight dropped from 90% in the first wave of the survey in Spring 2016, to 83% in the latest (Spring 2018).

A key driver of consumer satisfaction identified was the experience on-board the plane. CAA analysis showed this element of the journey has the strongest impact on levels of satisfaction compared to other aspects.

The survey found passengers are typically less satisfied with the in-flight experience than other aspects of flying, and consumers have also become less satisfied with their experience on-board since the survey began, with 81% satisfied in Spring 2016, compared to 77% in the latest wave.

There was also a regional difference in overall satisfaction, with a higher proportion of passengers flying from the North East satisfied with their flight (89%) compared to in the East Midlands (76%) and in Wales (78%).

In the fifth survey of its kind to be carried out in the last two years, passengers were found to be particularly unhappy with how airports and airlines respond to disruption and delay, with Tim Johnson, director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority commenting: “Although satisfaction remains high at 83 per cent, our last two surveys have shown a reduction from 90 per cent.

“Delays and disruption can be caused by a range of different factors. Some of these are within the control of airlines, and some are not. Whatever the cause, these delays can be frustrating for passengers. We expect airlines to always provide prompt and accurate information and if passengers are entitled to further care and compensation, this should be provided without delay.”

ComRes interviewed 3,500 UK adults online and via telephone between 29 March and 20 April 2018. The CAA’s survey is used to help inform its work to put consumer interest at the heart of its regulatory activity.

Written by: Kimberley Young

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