September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012

The Top 6 Air Passenger Complaints

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It has been another very busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Because Dab the AIDS Bear does a ton of events around the world, airline travel is a necessity of life. No matter what type of travel you use there are going to be some problems so today I am going to blog about airline passenger complaints.

1. Additional Fees These days there seem to be fees for everything: checked bags, booking an emergency exit or other seat with more leg room, meal service and unaccompanied-minor service. And there's talk of airlines adding still more fees for upgraded services such as early boarding, larger overhead bins and child-free seating areas. In the Consumer Reports survey, 40 percent of the 14,861 respondents (representing experiences on 29,720 domestic round-trip flights) said they were flying less due to the increased fees. "What we found is that paying few additional fees generally translates into a passenger having high overall satisfaction with an airline," said Mark Kotkin, a director of survey research at Consumer Reports.

2. Seat Comfort Those surveyed by Consumer Reports also gave eight of the 10 major airlines low marks for seat comfort. The airlines were also docked for other quality-of-flight issues, including cabin-crew service, cleanliness and in-flight entertainment. But it's clear there needs to be an industry-wide rethink of what constitutes "ergonomic" seat design on airplanes.

3. Flight Delays and Cancellations Delays and cancellations constituted a major complaint in the DOT's 2012 Air Travel Consumer Report, despite the fact that the 15 largest airlines had the best on-time arrival records (83.7 percent) in the 18 years that the department has collected data. The best on-time arrival rating went to Hawaiian Airlines (93.9 percent); the worst was captured by United (70.1 percent). According to the report, the airline with the highest rate of canceled flights was American Eagle (2.0 percent), and the one with the lowest rate was Virgin America (0.1 percent).

4. Lost or Misplaced Baggage The DOT report also listed lost or misplaced baggage among the major complaints, though the complaints were the lowest rate posted in the history of the survey (2.97 complaints per 1,000 passengers). So the good news about luggage and delays is that the overall instances of these issues is decreasing but of course it's still totally annoying if it happens to you!

5. Length of Time at Security In the TSA survey, nearly 68 percent complained that the length of the lines at security and the time it takes to get through seem to be increasing. Some 72 percent attributed the slowdowns to the fact that since the airlines are charging for checked bags, more people are flying with carry-ons. Some 62 percent also complained about still having to remove shoes, belts and jackets something else that slows things down. The TSA responded by reminding passengers of its "pre-check" program, now available for several airlines in more than 20 airports. This program allows U.S. citizens to undergo a background check that could clear them for an expedited airport security screening process.

6. Unfriendly Security Employees Less than half (42 percent) of the TSA survey respondents complained about the attitude and service they received from TSA employees, including racial profiling and inappropriate questions. We fully expect, however, that more YouTube videos of such issues will continue to be posted ... along with plenty of other air passenger complaints.

Now you know the rest of the story. Hope you have a beary safe and great Friday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab