The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has found that overall satisfaction with flying has fallen over the last two years.

The fifth UK Aviation Consumer Survey shows passengers are particularly unhappy with the way airports and airlines respond to disruption and delays, with the proportion of satisfied customers dropping from 90 per cent in spring 2016 to 83 per cent in spring 2018.

Respondents revealed that their onboard experience is a key driver of their satisfaction, with passengers typically less happy with the in-flight experience than other aspects of flying. They’re also becoming less content in this area, with 77 per cent saying they’re satisfied in the latest survey (compared to 81 per cent in 2016).

Regional differences were also uncovered in the research, with 89 per cent of passengers flying from the North East of England satisfied with their flight compared to 76 per cent in the East Midlands and 78 per cent in Wales.

When it comes to placing responsibility, 55 per cent of the 3,500 UK respondents said the passenger should book earlier flights in case of delays or otherwise ensure they get to their destination on time, while 45 per cent said they should be able to trust airlines to get them to where they’re going on time.

However, the CAA says its research shows the aviation is improving the way it deals with dissatisfied customers, with respondents saying they’re more confident of fair treatment if things go wrong (up six percentage points to 50 per cent).

Overall satisfaction with the way complaints are handled is at its highest level on record, with 64 per cent of respondents saying they were happy with the way their grievance was dealt with – up from 53 per cent in the previous survey.

Read the full report here

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