What Bugs You About Flying?

Honda Motor HondaJet compact business jet in flight
Honda Motor HondaJet compact business jet in flight

Someone close to me is a pilot in the corporate flight department of a very large company, and even he shook his head over the Big 3 flying corporate to DC.

But it sure is nice flying corporate (not that I would ever know). No TSA, no airport lines, no crowded seats, no flight delays (except for weather), no bags of peanuts. You just drive up, get on, take off.

And then there's the rest of us.

IBM has conducted a survey on what really bugs airline passengers, revealing some surprises in what doesn't bother them. For one thing, the survey shows people don't want "shopping experiences" at the airport. They just want to get "from Point A to Point B."

But top of the list of passenger peeves are baggage charges—like those from United and American to name two airlines—that four out of five consider a "rip-off." This means one out of five think those charges are reasonable (who?). Four out of five also think extra charges to redeem miles are a rip-off, 66 percent think first class prices are a rip-off, and 61 percent feel the same about charging for headphones.

But not everything is considered price gouging. Only half of those surveyed consider fuel surcharges a rip-off, which means half don't. And only 23 percent think the price of a ticket in coach is too high.

When it comes to paying for food and drink, most people think charging for food and water, which US Airways for one does, is wrong. But they don't think charging for alcohol is a problem. And nearly six in ten surveyed say they'd rather have the cheapest price and pay a la carte for extras instead of a higher all-inclusive price.

“Loyalty cannot be bought—it has to be earned," says IBM's Bruce Speechely. "That will only be done if travel providers can serve up a differentiated experience that is more valuable and relevant for individual customers.”

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