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 fallen.

In the latest UK Aviation Consumer Survey, 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.

“Although satisfaction remains high at 83 per cent, our last two surveys have shown a reduction from 90 per cent,” said Tim Johnson, director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

“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,” Johnson continued.

The survey also suggests regional differences in consumer satisfaction with the overall travel experience during their last flight, with people in Wales, the East Midlands and the East of England less satisfied than those in the North East, Scotland and the North West.

The results revealed that the percentage of consumers who were satisfied with the overall travel experience during their last flight has declined slightly from 90% in the first wave of the survey in Spring 2016, to 83% in the latest wave.

However, the results of the survey also suggest that the industry is making progress on how it responds to complaints.

The survey found that 50% of consumers feel they will be treated fairly should things go wrong, up six percentage points from Autumn 2017, while satisfaction with complaint handling is at its highest recorded level, with 64% of those consumers who made a complaint happy with the process – up from 53% in the fourth wave and 50% in the third.

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

Image: Civil Aviation Authority

Written by: Kimberley Young

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