Inflight services – not ticket prices – boost passenger satisfaction

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Great food – the spicier the better – plus good customer service and a positive track record are the primary drivers of passenger satisfaction on international airline flights. In a stark departure from the price-driven culture of domestic airline customer behaviour, the JD Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study finds that cost and fees are notably less important than inflight services when it comes to delighting passengers on international flights.

The study is a syndicated study that measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers flying from North America to Europe and from North America to Asia. It is based on performance in nine factors (in order of average importance across both models): in-flight services; cost and fees; aircraft; flight crew; check-in; boarding; immigration; baggage; and reservation.

A low fare may be the best way to attract a first-time international passenger, but retaining passengers on routes to Europe and Asia is all about delighting customers with great inflight experiences. One of the most powerful ways to do that is with food and beverage offerings that are unique to the airline’s culture and that manage to deliver flavour at altitude, where it has been proven that taste buds grow less sensitive.

Study rankings

Among carriers flying from North America to Europe, Turkish Airlines ranks highest in passenger satisfaction with a score of 833. Virgin Atlantic (829) ranks second, while British Airways and Delta Air Lines (815) rank third in a tie.

Among carriers flying from North America to Asia, Japan Airlines ranks highest in passenger satisfaction with a score of 869. Delta Air Lines (861) ranks second and Korean Air (854) ranks third.

The JD Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers flying from North America to Europe and Asia. The study is based on responses from 6,287 passengers and was fielded in September-October 2019.

 

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