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Tiger Airways now has the ignoble title as Australia’s worst airline, with only 55% customer satisfaction received in a recent survey conducted by consumer magazine Choice.
In a survey of major domestic carriers and their satisfaction results Virgin Blue won top honours with 68% satisfaction, climbing up from its second place position from last year and edging out Regional Express from its top spot.
Qantas sat in the middle of the list of five at third with 61% satisfaction, only slightly ahead of Jetstar, who was voted as the second least favourite carrier with a 60% satisfaction rate.
If it was any comfort for the much harangued carrier, Tiger Airways did come first in the sub-category of “value for money” with 75% satisfaction, narrowly edging out Virgin Blue who scored 74%.
In all other areas of in-flight service, seat comfort, ability to get a convenient flight, and booking process, Tiger Airways sat either last or second last on the list.
“Since Tiger Airways became Australia’s third budget airline in late 2007, domestic air travel has never been more affordable,” said Choice in its report.
“With return airfares between some capitals now costing less than $50, including taxes, flying interstate is often cheaper than driving.
“Greater competition among domestic airlines is pushing prices down. But consumers still expect a reasonable standard of service, among other things, to rate an airline as providing “value for money”.”
Interestingly 40% of travellers cite “value for money” as a major factor in their choice of airline, while 32% say frequent flyer points are important, and another 28% say schedules are important.
For those still flying with Qantas, the popular frequent flyer scheme was the main motivator, as was “force of habit”.