Belfast Telegraph

We’re the UK’s most dissatisfied airline users, survey shows

The latest Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) customer survey report reveals that the overall satisfaction level for recent air passengers has declined over the past three years (stock photo)
The latest Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) customer survey report reveals that the overall satisfaction level for recent air passengers has declined over the past three years (stock photo)

By Neil Lancefield

Northern Ireland flyers are the least contented air passengers in the UK, a study suggests.

The latest Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) customer survey report reveals that the overall satisfaction level for recent air passengers has declined over the past three years.

It found the proportion of people satisfied with their most recent flying experience has decreased from 90% in June 2016 to 81% in June this year.

The average recorded in the previous survey conducted in autumn last year was 82%.

Recent plane travellers from Northern Ireland are the least content at 67%, while recent flyers from north east England are the most likely to be satisfied (90%).

Reasons for dissatisfaction include poor handling of complaints by airlines and airports, a lack of information from airlines when flights are delayed and inadequate accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.

Some 3,500 UK adults were polled for the most recent report.

The research also reveals a gradual rise in respondents' awareness of the environmental impact of flying and a willingness to pay more in a bid to reduce it.

CAA policy director Tim Johnson said: "The numbers show a positive story overall, but it is important for the industry to continue to work to improve areas where consumers are less happy, including complaint handling, transparency and provision for those who benefit from more support.

"These are particular areas where we support the Government's proposals in its Aviation 2050 strategy to make improvements for consumers.

"The research also revealed that an increasing proportion of consumers are aware of and are considering the environmental impact of flying. This will be an important issue for passengers, the Government and the industry to consider in the context of the UK's commitment to net zero carbon by 2050."

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said: "Delivering for the consumer is at the heart of an airline business and, as the latest CAA tracker shows, in the vast majority of cases passengers have an enjoyable travelling experience."

The survey does not take into account recent problems experienced by British Airways passengers.

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