Virgin Blue tops domestic airline survey
Tiger bottoms out due to poorly explained flight delays.
In CHOICE’s latest domestic airline satisfaction survey Virgin Blue has been voted the best carrier for the second year running with top scores for service, entertainment and comfort.
More than 11,000 CHOICE members rated their satisfaction with domestic flights they’d taken in the past 12 months and voted regional carrier Rex second largely because of its old-fashioned and more personalised service.
Qantas came third overall, and while respondents were more satisfied with the airline’s prices than in previous surveys, their in-flight service standards scored only slightly better than budget carriers Jetstar and Tiger.
Last and second-last place getters Tiger and Jetstar copped the most criticism for their flight delays.
The biggest other gripes with Tiger were slow check-in processes and Jetstar for its cramped seating.
“Use online check-in to choose your preferred seat and where possible only take carry-on baggage to avoid queuing at check in and the luggage carousel,” said CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn.
The CHOICE report also revealed some of the hidden extra costs can make a budget carrier flights cost significantly more than the advertised fare.
For example, Tiger Airways is the only airline to charge a fee for both children under two and travelling with bulky sports equipment – even within the weight allowance - stinging customers $30 a pop for each.
Likewise, the budget airlines’ credit and debit card surcharges and the excess baggage charges at the airport tend to be among the most expensive on offer.
“Here the advice is to look beyond the mere base fare and add up all the extras to determine where the value truly lies. Unfortunately these charges are not always easy to find and are far from standard all of which make what should be simply comparison much harder,” said Mr Zinn.
Christopher Zinn 0425 296 442