Overall passenger satisfaction with flying has fallen, according to the CAA’s latest UK Aviation Consumer Survey.

Passengers were found to be particularly unhappy with how airports and airlines respond to disruption and delay.

The survey also suggests significant regional differences in consumer satisfaction with people in Wales, the East Midlands and the East of England less satisfied than those in the North East, Scotland and the North West.

The percentage of consumers who were satisfied with the overall travel experience during their last flight dropped from 90% in spring 2016 to 83% this spring.

The survey found that passengers are typically less satisfied with the in-flight experience than other aspects of flying. Consumers have also become less satisfied with their experience on-board since the survey began, with 81% satisfied in Spring 2016, compared to 77% this year.

A higher proportion of passengers flying from the North East are satisfied with their flight (89%) compared to in the East Midlands (76%) and in Wales (78%).

However, the CAA said there are signs that the aviation industry is working to improve how it deals with dissatisfaction:

• 50% of consumers feel they will be treated fairly should things go wrong, up six percentage points from Autumn 2017.
• Satisfaction with complaint handling is at its highest level, with 64% of those consumers who made a complaint happy with the process – up from 53% in the fourth wave and 50% in the third.

Tim Johnson, director at the CAA said: “Although satisfaction remains high at 83%, our last two surveys have shown a reduction from 90%.

“Delays and disruption can be caused by a range of different factors. Some of these are within the control of airlines, and some are not.  Whatever the cause, these delays can be frustrating for passengers.  We expect airlines to always provide prompt and accurate information and if passengers are entitled to further care and compensation, this should be provided without delay.”