Lost luggage tops Passenger Pain Index

23 Dec 2015 by Tom Otley

Lost luggage has come top in a poll which asked passengers to rank travel annoyances in terms of severity.

The poll by Qualtrics surveyed 520 American airline travellers for its ‘Passenger Pain Index’.  The study reveals that in 2015, 1 in 5 passengers reported experiences so bad they would switch airlines.

In response to the question “What bothers you most about air travel?” lost luggage was cited as the biggest annoyance

The results were:

  • Lost luggage - 88% of respondents.
  • Hidden fees - 80%
  • Cancelled flight - 70%
  • Unclean bathrooms - 69%
  • Unfriendly flight crews - 55%
  • Uncomfortable seats - 54%
  • Bad in-flight service - 45%
  • Lack of legroom  - 45%  

It also asked the “Deal Breakers” question:

 ‘What would prevent you flying with an airline again?’

  • 48% of respondents would consider never flying with an airline again if it lost their luggage,
  • 42% cited hidden fees 
  • 34% said unfriendly flight crews would make them switch airlines.

There were differences between business class flyers and economy class, with 1 in 5 premium fliers saying uncomfortable seats would prevent them from flying with an airline again, compared to 1 in 10 economy travellers.  Some 29% of premium fliers said they were “bothered a lot” by poor in-flight entertainment options, compared with 13% of economy travellers.

As regards the annoyance of fellow passengers, 45% of passengers said bad hygiene is the biggest complaint they have, followed by someone kicking their seats and sitting next to someone who is drunk (35%). An encouraging 30% of passengers don’t mind sitting next to someone who wants to talk, and 49% don’t mind switching seats if someone asks.

The research also highlighted differences in outlooks between genders. 45% of women said hidden fees make them want to never fly with that airline again, compared with 35% of men. 34% of women said unclean bathrooms would make them never want to fly with an airline again, compared with 23% of men. Twice as many women (15%) report being unhappy when flying, compared with 7% of men.

Tom Otley

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