NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) – Flight delays are an enormous headache for travelers and for airlines, emotionally and financially.
A study from the University of California pegs the total cost of U.S. flight delays at $32.9 billion, with half the freight carried by already frustrated passengers.
The study calculates travelers lost $16.7 billion in 2007 from flight delays, mainly from lost time due to delays, cancellations and missed plane connections. Food and hotel bills also factored into that number.
Fed-up travelers have had enough with painful, draining delays and are issuing some demands to airlines in a report out on the topic by FlightView, a Boston-based travel information company.
The firm surveyed 2,600 airline passengers on travel delays, and the response was direct and aggressive – airlines, passengers say, really need to get their act together.
Among the leading complaints: 65% of travelers got “conflicting flight status information” from airlines during a delay and 40% cited the lack of “fast and accurate updates” on airliner departure times.
In addition, air travelers issued a list of demands airlines should meet if they expect to earn travel consumer’s loyalty, trust and business.
Here is a snapshot:
- 40% of travel consumers say they want free Wi-Fi while they wait out a delay.
- 29% said their first priority was access to airline lounges during a delay.
- 20% want digital displays available to show exactly where a delayed airplane is during a delay.
FlightView says accommodating those requests isn’t just humane, it’s also good business for airline companies.
“These are extremely reasonable requests – especially during delays and cancellations,” says Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView. “Airports and airlines that keep customers informed and connected see the greatest return in building long-term loyalty.”