Customer service, value decreasing
Results of a survey conducted by SmarterTravel.com on air travel in 2007 versus 2006 painted a dismal picture of the state of the US airline industry. Customer service, pricing, value, fees, delays and use (or lack) of award travel topped the list of areas perceived to be worse in 2007.
Specifically, 49 percent of people polled said it was harder to find cheap air plane tickets in 2007 compared to those who thought it was about the same (40 percent) as or better (11 percent) than last year. The majority of respondents (57 percent) also felt that the extra fees for onboard food, drinks and entertainment were more common this year.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) projects 2007 as the worst year for airline delays since the government has been keeping track. Between January and July, there were more than one million flights delayed and 100,000 cancellations. More than a quarter of all flights did not fly on time or at all. Less than 1% of these delays and cancellations were due to weather. Coupled with the lack of cheap air plane tickets, passenger dissatisfaction is at an all time high.
On a positive note, readers praised several US airlines including: Southwest, JetBlue, Midwest and Continental. International airlines were also mentioned as having better customer service and perks, including meals and beverages.
For more details on the survey, visit SmarterTravel.com