With millions of New Zealanders getting ready for their summer holidays, Qualtrics today launched new research revealing our nation's biggest frustrations when flying, and how these impact who we choose to fly with.

The Qualtrics 2019 Airline Pain Index interviewed 350 travellers from New Zealand and Australia about their common frustrations and issues when engaging with commercial airlines.

Top of the list was lost luggage, with 87 per cent of respondents stating it bothered them a lot or made them not want to fly with that airline again.

This is followed closely by hidden fees when booking and cancelled flights (both 86%).


Rounding out the top 5 is unclean airplane bathrooms (80%) and uncomfortable seats (76%).

Almost half (46%) of travellers said they've had experiences so bad they decided to never fly with that airline again. Similarly, 38 per cent said the airline experience ruined their holiday.

The most common pain points as identified by Kiwis and Aussies. Photo / Supplied
The most common pain points as identified by Kiwis and Aussies. Photo / Supplied

Australians and New Zealanders gave the airline industry an average grade of B+. Specifically, more than one-third (37%) of respondents gave a grade of A- or higher and only 12 per cent gave it a C or worse.

The power of a good experience

With online reviews and word of mouth marketing critical to business success, passengers were asked what actions they were most likely to take after a good experience. Almost two-thirds (63%) said they would either leave an online review, post on social media, or share feedback, while 52% said they would tell friends and family.

About the 2019 Qualtrics Airline Pain Index

Qualtrics surveyed 350 Australians and New Zealanders in October 2019 to understand their common frustrations when flying. The survey was part of a global study, conducted with a panel of over 1,700 global airline travelers. All respondents in the study were at least 18 years of age. All findings included in this report were statistically significant at a 95% confidence level and a ±3% margin of error. For the full report visit this link.