Clarabridge Survey Reveals Expectations and Habits of Airline Customers in the U.S. and U.K.

September 26, 2017 00:00 AM

Clarabridge Analytics
Customer Experience
Customer Journey
Consumer Goods
Customer Engagement
Customer Feedback Management
Customer Journey Mapping

RESTON, Va.—September 26, 2017—Clarabridge, Inc., the leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions for the world’s top brands, today revealed the results from its comprehensive airline consumer survey. Clarabridge surveyed more than 1,200 consumers in both the United States and United Kingdom respectively. In both surveys respondents were between the ages of 18 and 60. The survey asked airline consumers share their feedback on all aspects of their air travel experience including personal preferences, expectations and key complaints. Clarabridge also analyzed more than 750,000 online ratings/reviews and mentions shared on public forums from Facebook, Airline Quality and TripAdvisor to capture the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

Clarabridge conducted this survey to identify actionable takeaways for airlines to improve the customer experience as a whole. The results illuminate customers’ true behaviors and expectations around air travel to enable airlines to improve overall satisfaction and increase loyalty. In today’s digitally connected world when the consequences of a customer’s negative interaction has the potential to go viral, it is crucial for airlines to understand what their customers are saying and implement that feedback into positive change. Listening to the customer not only creates a more enjoyable experience for air travelers, but ultimately saves airlines countless dollars in preventing customer experience crises before they arise.

The survey unveiled three critical findings:

  • Consumers believe airlines are not listening. 69% and 73% of U.S. and U.K. consumers respectively have never submitted a complaint, nor delivered feedback to an airline company. Within both markets, about two thirds of all consumers report that even when they do deliver feedback on their experience, complaints go unrecognized or unaddressed. This suggests that it is imperative for airlines to accurately collect and respond to feedback to ensure customers know they are being heard, and that their feedback is being acted upon in order to provide the best possible travel experience.
  • Attitude matters. Flight staff and crew attitude drives loyalty even more than affordable flights. In the U.S., 38% of customers are loyal to a particular airline based on how they are treated, compared to 35% of customers who choose their airlines based on price. Friendly staff is more indicative of whether or not an individual recommends an airline to a future traveler, with 33% of all U.K. customers citing it as the primary reason for their recommendation. Therefore, airlines must use the customer voice to adjust their policies, procedures and training and encourage the entire organization—from teams both in the sky and back at headquarters—to instill a culture of friendliness and positivity so that customers keep coming back.
  • It’s Time to Improve Digital Feedback Channels. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, customers expressed a preference for digital feedback. Of the customers that do provide feedback, 46% and 42% in the U.K. and U.S. do so by email, and 13% and 11%, respectively, by social media. Across both markets, more than half of all customers utilize digital tools to comment on their experience. In the U.K. only 1 in 10 complaints actually involves a human interaction. In conjunction with an increase in digital feedback, the data suggests that airlines must improve and invest in the technical infrastructure necessary to support customer complaints via digital means, be it on social media or in-app. This will not only satisfy customers, but also reduce the weight and cost of in person channels.

“Clarabridge is the industry standard solution for uncovering customer feedback and providing some of the world’s top brands and airlines with actionable advice based on that data across every customer touchpoint,” said Mark Bishof, CEO of Clarabridge. “The insights gleaned from this survey equip airlines with the necessary customer perspective to go above and beyond their true desires and expectations. Clarabridge empowers airlines to narrow in on the root cause of customer complaints to help create better customer experiences in a time when one bad interaction has the potential to go viral.”

Clarabridge helps improve the customer experience by putting customer feedback to work. The Clarabridge solution CX Analytics is the only solution that listens to all customer feedback data, analyzes exactly why customers feel the way they do, and powers real-time, front-line response and business optimization. Clarabridge provides relevant insights for airlines and other brands to take action and improve the customer experience across all stages of the customer journey.

For more information and actionable advice on how airlines can improve their customer experience for travelers, please refer to Clarabridge’s “Customer Experience in the Clouds: A Look at Today’s Air Traveler Expectations” report.


About Clarabridge
Clarabridge’s SaaS customer experience management solution helps hundreds of the world’s leading brands put customer feedback to work. Offering the most comprehensive solution for omni-source listening, accurate customer and text analytics, and real-time, guided action is why leading brands trust Clarabridge to power their CX programs and drive a customer focused strategy. The result: better customer experiences. For more information, visit


LaunchSquad for Clarabridge
Allie Rosenberg