63% of Americans do not have a preferred airline

TheStreet Annoying Air Travel Infographic

Despite efforts by U.S. carriers to build brand loyalty and frequent flyer programs, a poll by TheStreet indicates there may be a lot more “brand unloyality” than previously thought. In addition, the add-on fees for checked bags and other “extras” still angers a lot of the traveling public. TheStreet issued this statement about their survey:

Despite the airline industry’s best efforts to encourage brand loyalty and to convince passengers that paying for checked bags is logical, most Americans do not favor any specific airline. A new poll, conducted for TheStreet (NASDAQ: TST) by GfK1, took a look at consumer preferences when it comes to flying.

The survey found that:

63% of Americans do not have an airline they prefer to fly and only 5% consider getting frequent flier miles to be the most important consideration when selecting a flight.

When it comes to what annoys consumers the most, 73% are annoyed by high ticket costs, 70% find bag fees to be annoying, 68% are annoyed by cancelled or delayed flights, 64% are annoyed by uncomfortable seats, 63% are annoyed by rude staff, 56% are annoyed by charging for snacks and 48% are annoyed by closing the gate early.

When selecting a ticket, outside of price, consumers say non-stop service is the most important consideration, which was cited by 28% of respondents; followed by time of departure, with 20% saying this is the most important; airline’s reputation, with 15% and frequency of service, with 11%. Of the options, fewer see getting frequent flier miles as the most important consideration, cited by just 5%.
Asked whether they had ever complained to an airline, 23% of respondents said they had. Of those, 60% said they were satisfied with the response.

“The airline industry believes that bag fees are immensely logical and that airlines are able to build customer loyalty, but our new poll shows that most Americans still hate bag fees and feel little loyalty to individual airlines,” said Ted Reed, TheStreet’s Transportation Reporter.

The full story from TheStreet is available online: CLICK HERE

About the Survey

Methodology: OMNITEL is a weekly national telephone omnibus service from GfK, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The sample for this OMNITEL wave consists of 1,004 total completed interviews, of which approximately 750 consist of landline telephone exchanges and about 250 are made up of cell phone exchanges. Interviews were conducted from July 25-27, 2014. The margin of error on weighted data is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

About TheStreet

TheStreet, Inc. (www.t.st) is the leading independent digital financial media company providing business and financial news, investing ideas and analysis to personal and institutional investors worldwide.

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