Travel satisfaction levels decline

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

That the latest study by the Institute of Customer Service shows a decline in customer satisfaction in travel and tourism probably comes as no surprise.

Premier Inn is the highest travel and tourist organisation in the UKCSI survey. It is in 15th place

After the restrictions that caused many holidays, air trips and staycations to be cancelled there was bound to be dis-satisfaction.

This was compounded by the attitude of some airlines, cruise companies and tour operators in taking far too long to refund monies those that wished to cancel rather than take a voucher. 

That the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced yet another investigation in to a tour operator demonstrates how badly treated some customers have been.

Tourism and travel (that includes airline companies as rail as rail and bus services) showed the two biggest declines in customer satisfaction. If you look at just airlines in the transport sector the drop is substantial – it is down by 5.2points. Over a fifth of all those surveyed had a problem with airlines.

Only one tour operator appears in the top fifty of companies and that is Jet2holidays. Again. Despite being a large company these days it still manages to achieve higher customer satisfaction levels than much smaller – and bigger – rivals. It is in 26th place and has seen a decline but given how travel and tourism has been hit it is easy to understand why.

image of a Jet 2 plane
Jet 2 – the best for customer service tour operations and high for the airline part of the company

Premier Inn is in 15th place, booking.com is in 38th place and Marriott is in 42nd.

Not one tour operator or airline appears in the most improved list!

Premier Inns has the highest score in the tourism sector and Jet 2 achieves the same in the travel one, Jet2 holidays being in the tourism sector.

TUI, Thomas Cook, (the new one) British Airways Holidays, Teletext Holidays, Virgin Holidays, Love Holidays and On The Beach are missing but is that any surprise since, more often than not they never appeared in the good times. In the bad, some of these stood no chance given the level of customer complaints to the CMA this past year.

Overall though, customer satisfaction levels are marginally lower and continue a trend.

During the pandemic, there have been problems in staffing warehouses to deliver online purchases, in buying boxes because cardboard seems to be in short supply to package those purchases and staffing to attend call centres.

But now “call centres” can be linked with people working from home, satisfaction ratings may improve. Complaint handling in January 2021 compared to the same month last year shows one of the largest declines.  

As more of us become comfortable with online shopping for everything from clothes to books, hotels to travel and insurance to  even buying sight unseen cars, online complaint handling and customer satisfaction services must improve.

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