September 09, 2020

Airlines Can Address Other Passenger Frustrations as They Work to Rebuild Confidence

As airlines and airports try to entice passengers through promoting safety and hygiene, some are asking if it’s also a good opportunity to address other pain points in the customer journey.

Frequent flyers and even some airline executives have been saying for some time that while the travel industry sells "dreams," what is ultimately delivered is often something more akin to a nightmare.

Lufthansa Innovation Hub, via its TNMT platform, has taken a data-driven approach to identify major issues in the passenger experience to help carriers address them, while also helping them build on areas passengers feel positively about.

The study took data from 15,000 reviews of 12 major airlines on Tripadvisor, using natural language processing and artificial intelligence technology via Quid.

Reviews used in the study are from 2019, so the data is not biased towards COVID-19-related customer service and refund issues.

The research also divides the reviews into relevance and sentiment, with relevance representing how often a specific topic comes up and sentiment indicating if a review is positive, neutral or negative.

What Air Travelers Love and Hate the Most

Unsurprisingly, flight disruption is a huge pain point, with 20% of the reviews surfacing the issue.

Carryon luggage (11%) and punctuality (9%) came second and third, respectively, in terms of other areas with a high percentage of negative reviews.

However, after disruptions, refreshments and onboard services emerge as the next most relevant topics representing 15% and 13% of reviews, respectively.

LIH also put together a framework, the Relevance-Satisfaction Matrix, to start improving the passenger experience.

The idea of the matrix is to help airlines identify what to tackle first, based on customer priority and current satisfaction levels.

Issues surfacing in airline reviews are then plotted on the matrix.

Airbnb Users

The study also looks deeper into each review to see what specifically customers are unhappy about.

With flight disruption, for example, the majority of complaints are around communication as well as the ticket rebooking process. Passengers also expressed a desire to handle the process themselves.

Additional findings in the study reveal that while customers want onboard entertainment, they are also happy to consume it via their own devices.

The research points to Iberia, which introduced an in-flight entertainment platform accessible via consumers’ devices and reports a 35% increase in customer satisfaction after implementing it.

Copyright 2020 Northstar Travel Media LLC. All rights reserved. From By Linda Fox.

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