Did you enjoy your last flight?
Wherever you are going on holiday this year it is probable that you are planning to reach your destination by flying. Air travel is easily the most popular method of travel for anyone wanting to get away on a break. It is generally fast convenient and the easiest way to cover long distances.
Despite these obvious advantages it seems that many of us are not very happy travellers a recent survey by aviation IT specialists SITA has drawn attention to some of the more common difficulties experienced by those of us who take to the air.
Overall 78% of travellers do say that they are generally happy with their travelling experience but that figure masks some big variations. The most unhappy travellers were found to be the Americans with 28% complaining about their flights. By contrast the happiest travellers in the world apparently come from the Middle East and Africa with just 16% finding reason for complaint.
Areas that passengers have identified as requiring improvement include:
- Baggage collection – 27% unhappy
- Security checks – 25% unhappy
- Flight Transfers / Connections – 24% unhappy
With 27% wishing to see significant improvements in procedures it is unsurprising that the baggage carousel easily tops the list of complaints by travellers.
Are things getting better?
Despite the complaints it seems that there is reason for optimism that things are improving. Technology has been identified as one way that travel can be made faster and more efficient for everyone.
Airlines are already aware of the concern that baggage handling causes travellers and there are plans in development to alleviate these worries. A new and improved baggage delivery system should start to be implemented around 2018. There are also a number of mobile apps being developed with the ability to provide tracking for customers luggage at every stage of the journey.
Automated passport checks in particular have been welcomed by the majority of passengers. Outside the airport passengers also seem to be happy to make use of technology as 95% have employed websites to make their travel arrangements. Not all technology is being greeted as enthusiastically however one piece of technology which does not yet appear to be widely appreciated is the self-service kiosk. These are now available at many airports although only 13% of passengers claim to have used them while travelling.
Issues relating to security and flight transfers were also a significant concern for many families going on holiday and airports and airlines will need to look for ways to improve all aspects of the travel experience if they wish to improve their customer service rating.
This particular survey focused on aviation technology and so did not look at many aspects of air travel including in-flight service and all the delays and cancellations which travellers experience. If levels of satisfaction relating to those aspects are similar to those found on the issues covered by this survey then more than three quarters of travellers already generally happy with the service they receive. Looking forward the improvements being undertaken to make all aspects of air travel pleasant and straightforward we will hopefully soon be able to look forward to simpler easier travel whenever we take a family holiday.