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Airline demand-supply imbalance is good for revenue, tough on customer experience, says J.D. Power

Airline demand-supply imbalance is good for revenue, tough on customer experience, says J.D. Power

In their respective categories, JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines are ranked first.

THE TROY, MICH. The previous two quarters have seen record income for airlines due to a mix of high demand, tight supply, and rising prices, but this era of increased revenues is coming at the expense of consumer pleasure. Customer satisfaction with major airlines is declining significantly for a second year in a row, according to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, raising the possibility of brand damage if the current pattern of price increases, staffing shortages, and fewer routes persists.

“If yield management were the only metric airlines needed to be successful over the long term, this would be a banner year for the industry because they are operating at peak economic efficiency,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence head at J.D. Power. However, from the standpoint of the client, this implies that there are fewer flights available, more expensive tickets, and packed planes. Although the market for leisure travel has not yet been affected by these issues, if this pattern continues, consumers may hit a breaking point and some airline brands may suffer.

Some of the major conclusions of the 2023 research are as follows:

  • The expense of travel is primarily to blame for the fall in overall customer satisfaction: On a scale of 1 to 1,000, the overall passenger satisfaction is 791, down 7 points from the previous year. After falling by 22 points from 2021 to 2022, passenger satisfaction has been declining for the past two years in a row. Cost and fees, which have decreased 17 points from 2022, are the main cause of this year’s loss in satisfaction.
  • First-class travellers defy the norm: Passengers in the first/business sector have had a noticeably better experience, even if overall satisfaction is down. Scores on passenger satisfaction in this area have increased by 9 points since last year. The improvements can be attributed in part to higher food and beverage ratings because many services were restored for top class cabins after the epidemic.
  • Low-cost carriers have hardship: The sector of economy/basic economy, where budget-conscious travellers have found fewer flight deals this year, has seen the greatest annual reductions in customer satisfaction. In the economy/basic economy group, satisfaction with costs and fees is down 19 points from a year earlier.
  • Everyone can agree on one thing: Food and beverage, which is up overall 12 percent from 2022, is one of the few segments this year exhibiting development across all categories.

Research Rankings

With a score of 893, JetBlue Airways continues to lead the first/business sector in terms of customer satisfaction. United Airlines (848) is in third place, followed by Delta Air Lines (865).

With an 848 rating, Delta Air Lines has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the premium economy category. Alaska Airlines (823) is in third place, followed by JetBlue Airways (840).

With an 827 rating, Southwest Airlines continues to lead the economy/basic economy market in terms of customer satisfaction. JetBlue Airways (800) comes in third, followed by Delta Air Lines (801).

The North America Airline Satisfaction Study evaluates the performance of eight variables (listed in alphabetical order): aircraft, luggage, boarding, check-in, cost and fees, flight crew, in-flight services, and reservation. These factors are used to determine how satisfied passengers are with North American airline carriers. Based on responses from 7,774 passengers, the survey gauges passenger happiness in three categories: first/business, premium economy, and economy/basic economy. A major North American airline flight during the previous month was required of respondents to a poll. Between March 2022 and March 2023, the study was conducted.

Source: traveldailynews

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