9 out of 10 passengers believe airlines have compromised on comfort: Survey
The survey identifies various issues faced by passengers, including dissatisfaction with in-flight services, boarding procedures, baggage handling, and staff behavior. Instances of denied boarding due to late arrival and subsequent extra charges for the next flight were also reported.
A notable trend has emerged within India's aviation sector, raising concerns as 9 out of 10 passengers believe that airlines in the country have compromised on comfort and taken cost-cutting measures over the past 24 months. The survey, conducted by LocalCircles, highlighted that a significant 88% of respondents faced various issues during their flights in the last two years.
The survey sought to understand the specific challenges faced by passengers, revealing diverse but prevalent concerns. The largest group, comprising 39% of respondents, expressed dissatisfaction with in-flight services, encompassing meals and entertainment. Additionally, 35% reported issues related to boarding and check-in procedures, along with baggage handling. Another 9% cited problems with airline staff behaviour both inside the flight and at the airport.
Among the reported challenges, some passengers mentioned being denied boarding due to arriving a few minutes late at the airline counter. This resulted in being directed to the airline's ticket counter to pay significantly higher charges for the next available flight. The survey report noted instances of airlines overbooking and denying boarding to passengers arriving slightly late, coupled with reports of rude staff behaviour in such situations.
Furthermore, the survey captured an overall sentiment indicating a decline in customer service and care provided by India-based airlines. The percentage of passengers believing that airlines compromised on passenger comfort and took cost-cutting measures surged from 78% in the 2022 survey to a concerning 88% in the 2023 survey.
The report emphasized that many passengers continue to believe that the aviation regulator has been largely unaware of the customer service shortfalls experienced regularly. It called for improved services, better behaviour from airline staff, and faster escalation mechanisms available in real-time to address passengers' concerns effectively.