Earlier in the pandemic, ACSI customer satisfaction for airlines reached record highs with less-crowded flights because few people were traveling.
Now that leisure travelers have returned to the skies en masse, most airlines rated lower for customer satisfaction than they did a year earlier. Scores declined for seat comfort, quality of in-flight beverage and food and in-flight entertainment.
“Many folks ventured out to travel for the first time since the pandemic hit only to be met with lackluster service and dashed hopes,” said Forrest Morgeson in a written statement. He is an assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and ACSI Director of Research Emeritus. “Anyone who anticipated their travel experience would feel like the ‘normal’ pre-pandemic days are likely coming away sorely disappointed,” he said.
Airlines and other travel companies including rental car agencies, hotels and online travel agencies rank lower than industries like food manufacturing and full-service restaurants. But they rank higher than Internet service providers and subscription television service.
Among hotels, Atlanta-based IHG Hotels & Resorts ranked fourth among major hotel chains. Marriott was in the No. 1 spot, followed by Hilton and Best Western. Trailing behind IHG were Choice, Hyatt and Wyndham.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is based on interviews with 6,285 people contacted via email between April 4, 2021 and March 25, 2022. ACSI is a national economic indicator started at the University of Michigan.
American Customer Satisfaction Index: Airlines