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Chinese travellers vent out on social media over airline disruptions

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 10, 2013
Customer-centric response in airline industry required to curb irregular operations, says Amadeus study.

Thirty-five percent of Chinese travellers complain on social media when an airline disruption occurs. This is according to a newly released study written by Norm Rose of travel industry research authority PhoCusWright, and commissioned by Amadeus.

Thirty-five percent of the respondents in China “avoid booking the airline whenever possible” due to irregular operations.

Seventy-four percent of Chinese travellers said they experienced at least one moderate delay over the last 12 months, and 22 percent of these travellers are less likely to contact an airline representative directly than other travellers.

One third of all passengers surveyed in China could not fulfill the purpose of a trip booked in the past year.

Amadeus points out the growing Chinese market and advises global carriers to make efforts to understand the expectations and behaviour of Chinese travellers in order to tap this lucrative region.

“When travellers post negative messages on Twitter or decide never to book with a particular carrier again after being kept waiting for several hours at the airport, this results in an indirect loss of revenue for airlines which is often difficult to measure,”  said Norm Rose, senior technology and corporate market analyst, PhoCusWright. “A passenger-centric approach requires a re-evaluation of irregular operations management, to enable airlines to better serve customers and protect revenues.”

Discussing journey disruptions

Venting out frustration is common with Chinese travellers and 60 percent of those surveyed said they were most likely to share their journey disruption with friends and family.

The global study ‘Passengers first: Re-thinking irregular operations’ includes a survey of 2,800 travellers from Australia, Brazil, China, the UK, and the US. The study is focused on providing airlines with strategies to improve responses to irregular operations.

The most common frustrations among passengers was found to be insufficient communication, and the study emphasises this may significantly impact a traveller’s loyalty to a particular airline in the future.

Airlines should shift social media strategies from promotional activities alone, and adopt analytical tools to understand the impact of social comments made in relation to disruption.

“There is a strong argument that passenger insight and choice should be integrated into the irregular operations process,” said Patricia Simillon, head of Airlines Operations Strategy, Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our global airline partners in order to help them to refine, refocus and maximise their irregular operations procedures.”


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