Cape Town - SA low cost carrier kulula has, for the second year in a row, received the highest score among South African domestic airlines in the independent South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) results.
The brands included in the survey were kulula, Mango and SAA.
The research, which was conducted between May and July 2015, is based on telephonic and online interviews with 1275 participants. It draws on the experiences and perceptions of consumers travelling with various airlines.
kulula scored 72.8 out of 100, maintaining the leadership position.
Mango’s score was on par with the industry average at 71.3 out of 100, and SAA score was below par for the second year in a row, at 66.8 out of 100.
Kulula’s score increased slightly on last year’s measure, to hold its leadership position for the second year in a row.
This after the airline was awarded the title of Best African Low-cost Airline in the Business Traveller 2015 Africa Awards in September last year.
SEE: kulula awarded Best African low-cost airline
The SAcsi model combines three drivers of customer satisfaction: customer expectations, perceived quality and perceived value. In the airline category, customer expectations and perceived quality were on par with the previous year’s study, while the overall average for perceived value increased to 71.2.
kulula was among the airlines that received high scores for perceived value.
The calculated customer satisfaction index is statistically linked to two outcomes: customer complaints and customer loyalty. Although “airline industry customers are not very loyal to any particular carrier,” according to SAcsi founder and marketing researcher Adré Schreuder, “kulula is the overall leader in loyalty”.
"This drop in loyalty could be due to increased economic pressure on consumers, which drives them towards greater price sensitivity,” Schreuder says.
He also commended kulula for scoring high points for customer service.
READ: kulula introduces new seating option for taller passengers
Delayed and cancelled flights are the biggest bugbear for customers, according to the survey.
kulula customers listed baggage damage and loss as the biggest downfall on flights, while Mango customers mentioned system and app errors as well as boarding gates closing early as hindering.
SAA customers complained about hidden charges, bad attitudes by SAA staff and dirty toilets.
HAVE YOU READ: Mid-flight thieves target SA passenger on SAA flight to Hong Kong
Relative to the international scores, South Africa’s airline industry’s score of 69.7 compares well with that of the US, which reported an overall satisfaction score of 71 out 100.
SAcsi is a self-regulated national benchmark of customer satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to household consumers in South Africa.
Supported by both academia and industry, the SAcsi is the first independent comprehensive national customer satisfaction index with international comparability in South Africa.
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