Research revealed only 37% of passengers were provided with basic care, such as food and drink
AirHelp research reveals passengers rate airlines 3/10 on disruptions
New research released by air passenger rights organisation AirHelp has revealed that airlines are falling short on customer service when disruptions occur, with passengers scoring airlines 3.13 out of 10 when rating their satisfaction with the care they received.
AirHelp surveyed 1,363 passengers from over 60 countries - including UK, US, Brazil and EU countries - who had faced a significant disruption to learn more about the costs and experience of a flight disruption.
The survey uncovered that waiting for long periods of time is the biggest problem for passengers, with 73% of respondents ranking this as a major frustration.
This is closely followed by arriving at their destination at an inconvenient time and being stressed, with 71% and 68% of respondents respectively.
AirHelp identified that a significant flight disruption will cost passengers on average €362.50.
72% of those surveyed spent money they weren’t planning to spend, with the biggest outgoings related to alternative travel, food and drink, and accommodation.
46% of passengers also lost money when facing disruptions on lost earnings and non-refundable costs like accommodation.
Its findings highlighted that many airlines provide some care to passengers, but more passengers go without.
Only 37% of passengers surveyed were provided with basic care, such as food and drink, during their disruption and 15% of them only received this care after asking the airline.
Additionally, only 17% of delayed passengers and 14% of cancelled passengers felt the airline proactively provided them with enough information, indicating there is significant room for improvement.
In the UK alone, over 20 million passengers faced disruptions in July and August this year, with more than 892,000 air travellers suffering from flight cancellations.
Looking closer at cancellations, the research revealed that while airlines “generally do better at offering” passengers with flight cancellations refunds or an alternative flight, 17% of survey respondents were left without either.
When asked if the airline communicated their air passenger rights at any point during their disruption, 82% of respondents stated that they were not informed.
AirHelp discovered “proactively providing care” to be the best way to improve passenger experience, along with compensation, followed by adequate information, to have the “biggest positive impact on passenger satisfaction”.
AirHelp’s survey suggests that airlines can raise customer satisfaction levels by 60% by “proactively providing adequate information about the disruption”.
Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of AirHelp, said: “Dealing with the unpredictable nature of air travel is never easy, especially when considering strikes and other unforeseen disruptions that are out of our control.
“Our goal at AirHelp is not only to educate passengers about their rights and help them enforce them in the event of delays and cancellations.
“But rather, we want to work with airlines to ensure that passengers have an all-round satisfying flight experience.
“This survey uncovered some useful findings that companies can use to identify areas for improvement, with a clear emphasis on better and real-time communication.”