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Record U.S. Passenger Numbers Recorded – Satisfaction Levels Drop

While a record number of U.S. passengers were recorded in 2017, an increase of 4.5% compared to 2016 figures, the resultant increase in volume has seen a drop in the level of satisfaction experienced by passengers.
The result of an annual Air Travelers in America Survey has revealed that of those passengers questioned, only 81% were satisfied with their overall experience, down from 85% recorded in 2016.
This drop is not seen as surprising given an increase in crowding at airports and on flights, mainly due to an improved economy and low fares. All age groups and household income bands saw an increase in numbers save for those passengers who earned in excess of $150,000 on an annual basis.
The greatest increase in passenger numbers came from those persons falling within the US$75,000 – US$99,999 income bracket, where those took an average 5.1 trips per annum, compared with 3.4 trips in 2016.
According to John Heimlich, and chief economist at Airlines for America, “The strides airlines are making to improve the experience—from varying fares that can fit any budget, in-flight entertainment options, gourmet food offerings and advancements in technology, both on the ground and in the air— are resonating with customers and leading to more Americans traveling more often by air.”
5,046 passengers took part in the survey. 2017 was a year blighted by a number of high-profile incidents involving airlines and their passengers, the most notable of which involved a passenger who had been ‘bumped' being forcibly dragged off a UAL flight, the incident having been recorded by a fellow passenger on their smartphone and which subsequently went viral on social media.

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