The U.S. airport industry’s passenger sentiment score rose 3% due in part to lower expectations.
July 15, 2022 @ 10am EDT
During the past 7 calendar days, the U.S. airport industry’s overall sentiment score rose almost 3% to 8.12 from 7.89. The rise in passenger sentiment can be attributed partially to lower expectations. Given the relentless media portrayal of an airline industry in turmoil in both the U.S. and Europe, passengers seem resolved to the fact that their summer air travel experience may turn chaotic.
GlidePathCX continues to engage millions of airport passengers each week by reaching passengers on their mobile and laptop devices while they are in the airport. The majority of these electronic communications contained a Passenger Experience Survey, with overall sentiment measured on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best).
GlidePathCX’s Sentiment Score was calculated for each airport on a near real-time basis via the company’s proprietary Insight360SM dashboard. The resulting data was then aggregated to calculate a sentiment score for the U.S. airport industry as a whole.
For the week ending July 15th, the percentage of business traveler respondents was 17.3% vs. 82.7% for leisure travelers.
One little-known difference between the U.S. and Europe is the heavy reliance on shared services by European airports and airlines. In good times, shared services (i.e., check-ins, baggage handling, etc.) can be beneficial as different airlines experience passenger surges at different times of day, whereby a shared services approach can be more efficient as shared employees can be deployed where it is needed most. The downside is that airlines don’t have as much control over staffing shortages and the resolution to those shortages.
Delta Air Lines took matters into its own hands this past week when it flew a plane from London’s Heathrow (LHR) airport to Detroit (DTW) with 1,000 bags and no passengers. Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, stated “…we had a separate charter just to repatriate bags back to customers that have been stranded because of some of the operational issues the European airports were having. And we did that on our own nickel just to reunite or to help the customers sort their bags as quickly as possible.” Some industry watchers noted that the flight was also used to reposition the airplane.
GlidePathCX will continue to closely monitor airport passenger sentiment and related insights and trends.