Is Confidence in Air Travel Diminishing? One-third of travelers say they will avoid flying for both leisure and busines in the future due to fears of catching COVID-19, according to a survey by IATA (International Air Transport Association). Other key findings from the 11-country survey, whose results were recently released, include the following:
When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, IATA heard this:
—37 percent said Covid-19 screening at departure airports;
—34 percent agreed with the mandatory wearing of facemasks; a
—33 percent said social distancing measures on aircraft.
—45 percent of passengers surveyed indicated the they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding—a significant drop from the 61 percent recorded in IATA’s earlier April survey.
—Other concerns raised by passengers include travelling on an over-crowded bus or train on the way to the aircraft, queueing at the airport, using toilet facilities at the airport and on the plane and ‘breathing the air on the plane’.
“This crisis could have a very long shadow,” said IATA’s director general Alexandre de Juniac. “Passengers are telling us that it will take time before they return to their old travel habits. Many airlines are not planning for demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024. “Numerous governments have responded with financial lifelines and other relief measures at the height of the crisis. As some parts of the world are starting the long road to recovery, it is critical that governments stay engaged.”
In this study, 4,700 panel members from eleven countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, UAE, UK and USA) who traveled since July 2019 took part in the survey.
UK Travel Companies Get Their Knuckles Rapped for Handling of Refunds—the 70 Best and Worst Firms for Travel Refunds. A new survey by MoneySavingExpert—MoneySavingExpert.com is a popular British consumer finance information and discussion website—put Virgin and Loveholidays near Ryanair near the bottom of its list for their rating in the way that they have handled refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Three big names did particularly poorly,” said MSE, noting that “Ryanair continues to live up to its customer service reputation, scoring the worst of the major brands at a net score of -89 percent (worked out as the 1 percent who rated it ‘great’ minus the 90 percent who deemed it ‘poor’). It’s now joined by Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays on -88 percent and Loveholidays on -81 percent.”
(See the methodology discussed following the two tables below.)
“Unsurprisingly,” said MSE “these three firms were also among the worst at refunding people, with 4 percent or less of their customers saying they’d had a refund to date. A majority of Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair customers also said they’d been waiting more than two months for a refund since first asking”.
MSE cautioned that, “While not a statistical random sample of the UK public, this huge survey does paint a strong picture of what’s going on in travel refunds. Here are the detailed results.” Below, INBOUND has tables of the Top Ten and Last Ten of MSE’s ranking of 70 travel companies.
The survey ran between Tuesday 30 June and Monday 6 July and had 77,101 individual responses about travel firms. The aim was to find out how people felt about their “refund experience” by asking them to rate it as “great,” “OK” or “poor,” and whether they actually got one.
Net score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who rated their experience as ‘poor’ from the percentage who rated their experience as “great.” The number who rated their experience as “OK” is not factored in.
MSE allowed users to include firms that weren’t in our initial list of options and have put them in the table if we received more than 100 responses for that particular firm. The 100-response threshold is why most of the firms included are national brands, rather than smaller, independent companies.
*Asterisks denote firms that weren’t included in MSE’s initial lists.