Airline quality improves as complaints rise

Air passengers are complaining more than ever. Photo / iStock
Air passengers are complaining more than ever. Photo / iStock

Air travel is easier and more accessible than ever - but passenger complaints are also on the rise.

According to AQR's annual quality report for the aviation industry, airline passenger complaints jumped by 37 per cent since 2014.

Despite this, the report also shows that airlines had made considerable progress each year when it came to punctuality, baggage handling, involuntary denied boardings and other metrics.

The report looks at parameters like oversold flights, delays, lost luggage, refund policies and customer service for 13 major US airlines.

This year showed minor improvements, with the overall AQR score rising from -1.24 to -1.21.

On-time arrival rates rose from 76.2 per cent to 79.9, while baggage incidents were down from 3.62 claims per 1000 passengers in 2014 to 3.24 in 2015.

However, registered consumer complaints rose to 15,260 - which doesn't include more informal complaints on social media. 72 per cent of these complaints related to flight problems, baggage problems, reservation, ticketing and boarding issues, or customer service problems.

While quality seems to be improving, passengers have more of a voice than ever and airlines still have a way to go to satisfy them.

- nzherald.co.nz

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