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Airlines Industry: Most Recent “Top 10” Customer Complaints

Published the 14 July, 2017
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Where Should the Airlines Industry Focus its Customer Service Efforts?

In the wake of the April 9 United Airlines controversy earlier this year, the Airlines industry in the U.S. is under increasingly more scrutiny by consumers and regulators alike, with customer service a key focus.

In early May, the Wall Street Journal noted that U.S. lawmakers had “called on carriers to put their houses in order,” but pointed out that specific objectives were not prescribed at the time.

So apart from the “forced removal of passengers” grievance that erupted with the United incident, where should the industry focus? And what insight can individual airlines glean to ensure a measurable improvement in customer service and overall stakeholder satisfaction?

Airlines Sentiment – Top 10 Grievances

alva’s team of Insights Analysts recently took a look at all publicly available content – from April to May, 2017 – in order to identify the top ten customer complaints across the leading U.S. Airlines companies, including JetBlue, Southwest, Delta, American and United. At the time, the predominant themes at the center of the negative media coverage involved passengers, punctuality and staff services. Not surprisingly, the United Airlines incident drew the most negative media coverage followed by other concerns related to disembarking, call center services, cancellation policies and dress code incidents.  Ground staff helpfulness and boarding denials reigned high in the complaints department too, with Southwest receiving the highest amount of criticism in those categories amongst their peers. The graphic below lists the top ten complaints, the total number of complaints in that category and the airline brand most closely associated with the particular complaint.

Top Complaints Ranked by Airline

Airlines – Sentiment Score

In addition to the above analysis, the alva team has applied a sentiment to each of the five airlines reviewed. As shown in the image below, JetBlue was the only airline to score in the positive range.

Airlines Sentiment Scores

alva’s reputation score represents the perception of various stakeholders and market segments at any given point in time. The alva algo calculates sentiment scores on a scale of 1 to 10, with a score of 5.50 considered neutral.

Businesses that connect better with their stakeholders create more sustainable and long-term shareholder value. alva facilitates this connection by helping our customers to monitor all publicly available content and to translate that information into actionable insights for media relations, brand management, marketing campaigns, risk management and business strategy.

The above Airlines analysis is merely a snapshot of the in-depth stakeholder insights that our team of analysts and monitoring platform can offer across any market segment or region. Please get in touch with alva to find out more:

US: Marijan Jurac
+1 646 912 8177

UK and EMEA: Tom Evans
+44(0) 203 735 9794

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