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Our research paper on irregular airline operations explores the true impact they have on airlines with an emphasis on understanding the traveller’s perspective so airlines can better manage customer expectations.
One question we asked concerned traveller’s reactions to flight delays, which we then organized based upon the respondents’ country of origin.
This analysis uncovered strong passenger sentiment, expressed in a variety of ways. The most striking result is that disrupted passengers shared their frustration with friends and family, which means that traditional word-of-mouth still has an impact. Significant numbers of travellers also now express their frustration and anger on social networks, amplifying the influence of the disrupted passenger with the potential to turn that sentiment viral.
These findings highlighted a number of interesting takeaways especially for the ever growing Chinese market. Chinese travellers were most likely to share their journey disruption experience with friends and family and post comments about it on social networks. They were also most likely to develop negative feelings toward the airline. However, Chinese travellers (along with those from the UK and Australia) are not inclined to address the problem with an airline employee/representative at the airport.
Given this market’s remarkable growth rate, global carriers must focus their attention on understanding and anticipating the needs of Chinese travellers. Progressive, global airlines that can respond to passenger journey disruptions with proactive, personalised services will differentiate themselves from competitors.
If you haven’t already – download ourPassengers first: Re-thinking irregular operations report .