BDL-Consumer Report 2013: Customer satisfaction in the air travel industry
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

BDL-Consumer Report 2013: Customer satisfaction in the air travel industry

on

  • 706 views

In the air travel industry, numerous companies compete for passengers. Customer satisfaction is essential to their success. To get a comprehensive picture of how people in Germany rate the services ...

In the air travel industry, numerous companies compete for passengers. Customer satisfaction is essential to their success. To get a comprehensive picture of how people in Germany rate the services provided by the airline companies, the German Aviation Association (BDL) commissioned the independent market and opinion research organisation “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen” to conduct a representative survey. This report provides a summary of the most important findings. It is updated once a year.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
706
Views on SlideShare
706
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
13
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs LicenseCC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs LicenseCC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

BDL-Consumer Report 2013: Customer satisfaction in the air travel industry BDL-Consumer Report 2013: Customer satisfaction in the air travel industry Document Transcript

  • Kunden, die mit ihrem letzten Flug zufrieden oder sehr zufrieden sind Kunden, die für längere Strecken statt Auto, Bahn oder Fernbus das Flugzeug bevorzugen Kunden, die sich bei ihrem letzten Flug sicher fühlten Menschen in Deutschland, die in den letzten zwei Jahren mit einem Flugzeug geflogen sind 42% 88% 94% 60% 35% 91% Kunden, die meinen, dass das Flugzeug das beste Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis bietet (Auto: 22%, Bahn: 19%, Bus: 14%) Kunden, die den Online-Buchungs- vorgang bei Fluggesellschaften übersichtlich finden Kundendefinition: Deutschsprachige Bürger ab 18 Jahren, die in den letzten zwei Jahren geflogen sind report2013 verbraucher report2013 consumer Results of a survey conducted by “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”
  • In the air travel industry, numerous companies compete for passengers. Customer satisfaction is essential to their success. To get a comprehensive picture of how people in Germany rate the services provided by airline companies, the German Aviation Association (BDL) commissioned the independent market and opinion research organisation “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”to conduct a representative survey. This report provides a summary of the most important findings. It is updated once a year. www.bdl.aero Contents Context and methods 2 1. How often and why do people in Germany fly?  4 2. What do customers expect when they fly? 6 3. How satisfied are customers with their flights? 8 4. Where do customers see a need for improvement? 10 5. How is consumer protection implemented in the air travel industry? 12 6. How is the air travel industry ranked compared to other transport modes? 14 Publication details 17
  • Customers who were either satisfied or very satisfied with their last flight Customers who prefer flying over driving or taking a train or coach for longer journeys Customers who felt safe during their last flight People in Germany who have travelled by plane in the last two years 42% 88% 94% 60% 35% 91% Customers who believe that flying offers the best value for money (car: 22%, train: 19%, bus: 14%) Customers who find the airlines’ online booking systems easy to follow Definition of “customer”: German-speaking residents aged 18 and above who have travelled by plane in the last two years report2013 consumer Results of a survey conducted by “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”
  • 2 Context and methods Customer satisfaction is essential to the success of airline com- panies. In a Germany-wide representative study, customers were asked what they consider to be particularly important and how satisfied they are with the service provided. When it comes to air travel, customers have plenty of choice. For intra-European flights alone, around 140 scheduled airlines compete for passengers. In such a highly competitive environment, it is vital for the success of a company that customer wishes are satisfied, thereby ensuring long-term customer loyalty. Many airlines and airports regularly collect data on customer satisfaction in order to improve their services. In addition, there are numerous so-called consumer portals on the Internet. These collect feedback from passengers but cannot be regarded as representative of the population as a whole. To date, the satisfaction of airline customers has yet to be assessed in comprehensive and representative studies that relate to the entire population and not merely market segments or the customer base of individual companies. To fill this gap, the German Aviation Association (BDL) commissioned“Forschungs- gruppe Wahlen”to perform a representative survey of customer satisfaction in the German air travel industry. Consumer report 2013 Overview of methodology Survey period and provider: ■■ 15 to 23 October 2012 ■■ Forschungsgruppe Wahlen Telefonfeld GmbH Survey method: ■■ Telephone survey ■■ Multi-stage random sampling Population and sample: ■■ German-speaking resident population aged 18 and above ■■ Sample size: 2,390 (1,014 customers)
  • 3 Composition of the sample In total, 2,390 telephone interviews were carried out for the study. The evaluation only includes the opinions of those people who have flown at least once during the past two years, as only they are able to assess the service provided by the airlines. In order to achieve a representative sample (n=1,014) for the group that has flown in the last two years, the total sample was set at an accordingly high level. The survey is representative of the German resident population aged 18 and above. For the sample, a stratified, two-stage random selection method was employed. The evaluation was weighted according to age, gender and education. Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=2,390), cumulative deviation due to rounding Selection criterion:Time of most recent flight 42%40% 17% Never Over two years ago In the past two years End of questioning Further questioning Consumer report 2013
  • 4 1. How often and why do people in Germany fly? Around half of all people in Germany travel by plane. But for the majority of passengers, this is not an everyday occurrence; they fly infrequently and essentially for leisure. Over the past two years 42 per cent of people in Ger- many travelled by plane. Of this group, 61 per cent flew once or twice during this period, 33 per cent three to nine times and 6 per cent ten times or more. A flight is always considered to be a round trip. The vast majority of air passengers are thus occasional flyers for whom air travel is not an everyday event. This fits with the finding that 66 per cent of cus- tomers still consider flying to be something special, women (74 per cent) even more so than men (57 per cent). 71 per cent of passengers last flew to another Euro- pean country or a non-European Mediterranean country such as Egypt. 19 per cent most recently took an intercontinental flight, and 10 per cent a domestic flight within Germany. Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014), cumulative deviation due to rounding Most recent destination 55% 17% 19% 10% Non-European Mediterranean country Within Europe Within Germany Intercontinental
  • 5 Reason for travel 10 per cent of the passengers surveyed said that their last flight was for business reasons. The ac- tual significance of this customer group for some airline companies is, however, far greater. After all, the majority of business travellers are frequent flyers and generate a large proportion of revenue (passenger surveys at German airports have shown that around 40 per cent of all flights are business- related). Accordingly, among those who travel mostly for business reasons, a good ten times as many had taken ten or more flights than the essentially leisure travellers. Travel class 6 per cent of passengers did not fly in either econo- my or premium economy class on their last flight but in business or first class. At 18 per cent, the propor- tion of business travellers is also disproportionately high. Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014), cumulative deviationdue to rounding Purpose and travel class of most recent flight 90% Business Leisure 93% Economy/ Premium Economy 10% Business/First 6%
  • 6 2. What do customers expect when they fly? The criteria which determine whether individual passengers are satisfied with a flight vary from case to case. Nevertheless, there are criteria which are important to almost all customers. The perceived flight experience is the sum of many factors. Customers in Germany generally consider it most important for the basic service to be safe, cost- efficient and smoothly handled. By comparison, they attach less importance to additional services offered before and during the flight. Safety is the priority for most passengers, while on-board entertainment, food and drink rank well below this. Expectations in terms of the service provided differ between the various customer groups. For exam- ple, for those aged 60 and over, the comfort of the waiting areas at the airport is particularly important (72 per cent compared to 64 per cent on average). Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014), cumulative deviationdue to rounding What customers regard as particularly important when they fly 97% 96% 95% 93% 93% 93% 81% 75% 73% 64% Very important Important 53% 30% Feeling of safety Cleanliness on board Friendliness of staff Value for money Comfort of seats in the cabin Access to/from the airport Fast security checks Generous luggage allowance Short journey time from door to door Comfort of the waiting area Food and drink on board Attractive in-flight entertainment programme 72% 25% 51% 46% 42% 53% 46% 48% 43% 50% 48% 44% 32% 49% 25% 50% 21% 52% 11% 53% 11% 42% 6% 24%
  • 7 Business travellers value the time they save Business travellers do not, per se, have different requirements to customers who travel mainly for leisure. However, a look at the details shows that business travellers rate those aspects more highly which directly enable them to get quickly from A to B. For example, convenient travel to/from the airport (95 per cent) and a short journey time from starting point to destination (79 per cent) are par- ticularly important. This result is congruent with another finding made by “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”: 82 per cent of those who primarily travel for business reasons stress that air travel enables them to keep to their schedule. Business travellers are cost-conscious, too At 93 per cent, an appropriate ticket price is just as important to those travelling mainly for business purposes as it is to leisure travellers (94 per cent). Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(predominantly business travel n=78; predominantly leisure travel n=878) Consumer report 2013 Business travellers have different priorities Ersparnis in Euro pro Tonne CO2 ** Kosten in Euro pro Tonne CO2 ** -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 Friendliness of staff Value for money Food and drink on board Comfort of the waiting area Generous luggage allowance Short journey time from door to door Comfort of seats in the cabin Access to/from the airport Cleanliness on board Attractive in-flight entertainment programme Fast security checks Feeling of safety Criterion is more important to business travellers than leisure travellers Criterion is less important to business travellers than leisure travellers + 6.3 + 3.5 + 2.9 + 1.5 + 0.8 +0.7 + 0.6 – 0.3 – 0.6 – 2.5 – 4.3 – 4.6 Different criteria weightings compared to leisure travellers in percent:
  • 8 3. How satisfied are customers with their flights? “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”examined whether the air travel industry succeeds in meeting its customers’expectations – both as a whole and with respect to individual quality criteria. For the question of how satisfied customers actually are with the air transport services provided, inter- viewees were only asked about the last flight they had taken. This was to ensure that the overall picture is not distorted by individual, particularly good or bad past experiences. When asked for an overall assessment of their last flight, 88 per cent of those interviewed said that they were either satisfied or indeed very satisfied with the service provided. There were practically no differences in this respect between leisure (88 per cent) and business flights (87 per cent). But this is not the case when one specifically considers passengers who last flew in business or first class: Of these, 42 per cent were very satisfied with the service, compared with 33 per cent who had flown in the economy or premium economy class. Positive verdict on BDL airline companies Around two thirds of interviewees last flew with one of the member airline companies of the BDL, includ- ing all subsidiaries and brands. At 90 per cent, these customers were even more satisfied than those who had flown with a company that is not a member of the BDL (84 per cent). Satisfaction with most recent flight Not satisfied (at all) (Very) satisfied 12% 88% Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014) Consumer report 2013
  • 9 Any comparison between airline companies is, how- ever, only of limited value. This is because passengers generally perceive flights as a package, for which they largely consider the airline to be responsible, where- as in reality many different companies are involved. These include, for example, the airport operator, the ground handling company and security firms. Assessment of the individual criteria People in Germany are particularly satisfied with the safety and cleanliness of the aircraft. However, the interviewees were somewhat less satisfied with the extras, which are not part of the basic service, such as food and drink and entertainment. Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014), deviations from 100 percent = no information given or response cannot be assessed Assessment of last flight according to individual criteria Feeling of safety Cleanliness on board Friendliness of staff Access to/from the airport Short journey time from door to door Comfort of the waiting area Fast security checks Value for money Generous luggage allowance Food and drink on board Comfort of seats in the cabin Attractive in-flight entertainment programme Quite satisfiedQuite dissatisfied 5% 5% 94% 94% 8% 91% 11% 88% 11% 84% 16% 83% 23% 68% 33% 66% 59% 12% 87% 14% 85% 14% 14% 85% Consumer report 2013
  • 10 Consumer report 2013 4. Where do customers see a need for improvement? Some customers stated that they were not satisfied with the service provided. What reasons did they give, and are they prepared to pay more for an improved service? The survey showed a strong overlap between what customers in Germany consider particularly impor- tant when thy fly, and what they were particularly satisfied with on their last flight. The companies received high marks on criteria which were seen as especially important by customers, e.g. safety, cleanliness of the cabin and friendly staff. Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1,014) Customer requirements and their satisfaction Cleanliness on board Feeling of safety Friendliness of staff Short journey time from door to door 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 25% 50% 75% 100% 3 5 6 7 89 10 11 12 What customers consider important or very important Whatcustomersarequitesatisfiedwith 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2 1 4 Generous luggage allowance Food and drink on board Comfort of seats in the cabin Attractive in-flight entertainment programme Access to/from the airport Comfort of the waiting area Fast security checks Value for money
  • 11 Seat comfort does not always meet expectations For one of the quality criteria examined, however, there is still a gap between customers’expectations and their assessment of the service provided. Seat comfort in the cabin is important to 93 per cent of interviewees, but only 66 per cent were satisfied when they recalled their last flight. High price sensitivity Only 12 per cent of customers said that the service did not meet their expectations. Of these, one in three cited a lack of comfort in the cabin, while other reasons included delays and shortcomings in regard to the service on board. Nevertheless, not even 50 per cent of the dissatisfied customers would be willing to pay a higher ticket price for improved service and comfort (47 per cent compared to 44 per cent for all interviewees). The scope for service improvements is therefore restricted. Consumer report 2013 Background: Airline seat comfort The space between seats, and thus the total number of seats, is an important factor for the profitability of an aircraft. More and more airline companies are fitting their planes with so-called slimline seats, which have thin backrests and are lighter than other seats. This increases the available leg space and also improves cost effectiveness, as lighter seats also mean reduced kerosene consumption. Furthermore, some airlines are offering premium economy seats with more space. In business class, on medium- and long-haul flights, so-called lie-flat seats, which can be converted into a fully flat bed, are becoming increasingly popular.
  • 12 5. How is consumer protection implemented in the air travel industry? In the European Union there are numerous consumer protection regulations which give air passengers specific rights vis-à-vis airline companies. Are these regulations observed? The Federal Aviation Office (LBA) monitors the implementation of air passenger rights in Germany. In 2012, this authority received 5,254 complaints. Considering that there are more than 200 million air passengers in Germany each year, this number is small – just one complaint was filed for every 38,143 air passengers. That is the equivalent of one person in a packed football stadium. In terms of the transparency rules for online booking, the findings of the consumer survey show that the airline companies comply with the regulations. One in five passengers books his or her own flight on the respective airline’s website. 95 per cent said that they had found the information they required, and 91 per cent of customers stated that the actual price of the ticket was clear to them from the outset. Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=229: Customers who booked the flight on the airline company’s website) Assessment of online booking 91%95% 91% “I found the information I needed.” “The website was clear and easy to use.” “The final price of the ticket was sufficiently clear to me.”
  • 13 Consumer report 2013 Background: Consumer rights in the air travel industry Over the past years, a comprehensive set of regulations has been issued in Europe which gives passengers numerous rights vis-à-vis airline companies, airports and tour operators. Such detailed and stringent regulations do not exist in this form either for other passenger carriers or in countries outside of Europe: n EG-Regulation No. 261/2004 stipulates passengers’rights in terms of additional services (meals and accommodation, free telephone calls etc.) if a flight is cancelled or overbooked, or if there is a long delay. In certain cases, compensation is also paid. n EG-Regulation No. 1107/2006 specifies the rights of air passengers with reduced mobility to reliable and barrier-free transport, and defines a range of information and care duties for airline companies and airports. n EG-Regulation No. 1008/2008 stipulates a high degree of transparency in regard to ticket prices. Optional services such as travel cancellation insurance or a rental car at the destination must not have been preselected on the booking form. Moreover, the provider must list all taxes, fees and surcharges separately, in addition to the total price. n German airline companies have decided to offer passengers the option of settling disputes by conciliation. The airline industry and the federal government have agreed on the key points for legislation on such conciliation, and the German parliament passed this into law. As of 1 January 2014, passengers who complain to their airline company and are unable to reach agreement after two months will be able to turn to an independent conciliation board. This facility is not available in any other European or non-European country.
  • 14 6. How does the air travel industry rate compared to other transport modes? Every means of transportation has its own advantages. How do consumers decide between travelling by rail, car, bus or plane? The survey showed that the number of customers who are dissatisfied with the service provided is small- er in the air travel industry than with other transport modes. The interviewees were asked whether they had ever had such a bad experience with any particu- lar means of transport that they would prefer never to use it again. The result: Only 8 per cent of those who had a bad ex- perience would prefer not to travel by plane in future. This figure is significantly higher for travels by train (68 per cent), car (19 per cent) and bus (10 per cent). Preferred means of transport The interviewees prefer to travel by plane for longer journeys. This preference is considerably stronger amongst those who have travelled by plane ten or more times in the past two years, at 75 per cent compared to 60 per cent for all interviewees. Gender- based differences were also noted. 64 per cent of women prefer to travel by plane for longer journeys, compared to only 56 per cent of men. Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1.014;319), multiple answers are possible, cumulative deviation due to rounding Annoyance with means of transport 32% Yes 67% No 68% 19% 8%10% In the past two years, have you been so annoyed when using a means of transport that you would ideally never use it again?
  • 15 Safety In terms of safety, air travel was ranked a clear first in the survey: 64 per cent of customers regard flying as the safest mode of transport, while 23 per cent cited rail transport, 8 per cent the car and 1 per cent the bus. This result is also reflected in the accident statistics. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 2012 was the safest year ever in the history of commercial air travel – statistically speak- ing, a passenger who flies every day will travel for 14,000 years without having an accident. Consumer report 2013 Source: “Forschungsgruppe Wahlen”(n=1.014), deviations from 100 percent = no information given Comparison of means of transport 16% 2% 60% 8% 1% 64% 22% 14% 35% 46% 2% 32% 18% 20% 23% 19% Which means of transport do you consider to be the safest? Which means of transport offers the best value for money? Which means of transport do you prefer for longer journeys? Which means of transport do you particularly enjoy taking?
  • 16 Value for money 35 per cent of customers interviewed found that air travel offers the best value for money. This is al- most twice as many as for rail (19 per cent) and more than double the figure for bus travel (14 per cent). At 42 per cent, business travellers are even more convinced of the value offered by air travel. EU consumer scoreboard Other sources also confirm the high level of customer satisfac- tion within the air travel industry. The European Union consumer scoreboard is based on a rep- resentative survey of the EU population. It measures satisfac- tion with a total of 21 consumer goods and 30 services. In the most recent evaluation, in De- cember 2012, air travel in Germa- ny was ranked fifth, and thus top among all mobility services. Local public transport came 12th , car rental 18th and the train services 29th . Similarly, in the EU-wide evaluation of the survey, air travel was well ahead of other passenger carriers. Top ratings for German companies In comparisons with foreign competitors, German airlines are rated highly for their quality. In studies conducted by the independent German Institute for Service Quality (DISQ), domestic carriers regularly top the tables. Most recently, in January 2013, the four large BDL airline member companies were all among the top 5. German airports also regularly receive first-class re- views. No less than three German airports – Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf – rank among the top 10 in Europe, according to a survey, published annually by the London-based business consultancy Skytrax, on the basis of passenger and visitor surveys. In the worldwide ranking, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf moved up several places in 2013 compared to 2012. Consumer report 2013 Source: European Commission: 8th Consumer Scoreboard (December 2012) EU consumer scoreboard EU Airline services Packaged holidays &tours Vehicle rental services Train services Tram, local bus, metro D 13th 10th 27th 7th 5th 18th 12th 29th 7th 5th The EU consumer scoreboard measures satisfaction with 21 consumer goods and 30 services. Mobility service providers ranked at EU and German level:
  • Publication details Published by German Aviation Association Bundesverband der Deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft e. V. Französische Straße 48 10117 Berlin Phone: +49 (0)30 520077-0 info@bdl.aero www.bdl.aero ViSdP (Responsible for the content as defined by German Press Law) Matthias von Randow Managing Director Editorial board Ivo Rzegotta Assistant to the Board Date of publication August 2013 Implementation and design Jens Köster GDE | Kommunikation gestalten | www.gde.de © BDL 2013
  • For the sake of the environment This product complies with the most stringent requirements of modern environmental protection. 100% Recycling Recycled ResponsibleClimate-friendly Independent Ivo Rzegotta Assistant to the Board +49 (0)30 520077-165 ivo.rzegotta@bdl.aero Carola Scheffler Press Officer +49 (0)30 520077-116 carola.scheffler@bdl.aero Contact