05.How we surveyed plus members comments
How we survey
In November 2008, CHOICE invited 25,000 online and 16,358 magazine subscribers to take part in an online survey on domestic and international airlines – 4625 surveys were completed within the one-month deadline. To participate in the survey, respondents must have travelled by plane in the previous three years. Of the total surveys received, 4307 respondents reported flying domestically within the past three years.
We wanted to find out:
- Overall consumer satisfaction with domestic airlines for economy flights.
- Which domestic airlines respondents used the most and why.
- How the airlines fared in specific attributes compared with our last survey in 2007.
In November 2008, CHOICE invited 25,000 online and 16,358 magazine subscribers to take part in an online survey of domestic and international airlines – 4625 surveys were completed within the one-month deadline. To participate in the survey, respondents must have travelled by plane in the previous three years. Of the total surveys received, 3486 respondents reported flying internationally within the past three years, of which 2564 flew economy.
We wanted to find out:
- Consumers’ overall satisfaction with international airlines for international flights.
- Which international airlines they chose most and why.
- How the airlines fared in specifi c attributes compared with our 2007 survey.
What members say about domestic travel
Our domestic survey included an open response section where subscribers could air praise and/or grievances about specific airlines. These are some of the highlights – and low points – for each carrier.
“Good old Qantas – record-holders for late running and cancellations. I travel often – two to three return flights per month – and the perception is that they are getting worse. Their phony apologies really grate with me.”
“I have flown with Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas a number times in the past three years. My preference is to always fly with Qantas as the level of service is superior. Being a frequent flyer you have access to Qantas Club, express baggage and valet parking, which the other airlines do not offer.”
“I’m concerned about Qantas management’s attitude towards investing in maintenance and airline safety. The evidence suggests that Qantas’ stringent safety standards have been relaxed. Once I spend my frequent flyer points or lose my Gold status I’ll seriously consider flying other airlines.”
“When I last flew with Jetstar, the seat I had to occupy had not been cleaned and had some unidentifiable stains on the seat which I had to avoid sitting on. Not nice.”
“I’ve flown Jetstar twice in the last two years. It offers good value. It could best be described as a functional, no-frills airline, which suits me fine for the relatively short-haul flights I make.”
“A Virgin flight attendant held a trivia quiz and most passengers took part. After announcing the winner and presenting a prize he finished off with a few jokes. It was the best flight we have had.”
“Always made to feel special – as though you’re the only one on the flight. Staff are friendly and fun-loving, with a sense of humour, but professional in their job.”
“Virgin aircrew tend to joke around. On one flight, a member of the aircrew pretended she had her mother on the phone who had called her at work, and all the while she was broadcasting this over the intercom. It is one thing for crew to be friendly but another for them to be childish and not funny.”
“Tiger offers excellent value. We bought three return flights from Melbourne to the Gold Coast for a total of $300. The flights left on time and in-flight service was more than you would expect of a budget airline.”
“The ‘no-frills’ airlines, such as Tiger, are just that. For tall or overweight people, seat comfort is marginal. Particularly for tall people, a flight of two hours can be indescribably uncomfortable. The staff on these flights appear to be under pressure, so service is marginal.”
“We booked five seats on Tiger. We arrived at the counter one hour before the flight and were ticketed. They had booked our two toddlers and eight-year-old in seats next to complete strangers. The ground staff said it was our fault for not arriving more than an hour before a flight. The pilot (thankfully) refused to take off until we were seated together.”
Reginal Express (REX)
“The Rex staff are incredibly friendly, know my favourite seat, and offer a glass of wine on the way home!”
“I have always had the feeling that ‘you can take it or leave it’ because we live in the country, and we have no other choice.”
This article last updated April 2009