On low-cost flights, cabin gripes

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On low-cost flights, cabin gripes

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Passengers of Korean low-cost carriers rated cabin facilities as the most unsatisfying part of flying, in a survey conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency.

The agency polled 1,000 passengers who flew on five low-cost carriers, including Air Busan, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air and T’way Air. They were asked to rate the airlines in seven categories on a scale of one to five, with five being most satisfied.

Among the seven categories and across all five airlines, cabin facilities received the lowest average rating of 3.15, according to the results announced Thursday by the agency.

The category of cabin facilities includes evaluations of seat comfort and cleanliness, overhead bin storage space and leg room as well as the quality of supplementary items provided in-flight such as food and beverages.

“Respondents were most unhappy about the crammed seats since most low-cost carriers use small airplanes,” a consumer agency official said. “In-flight food and beverage quality received the second-lowest rating.”

Among the five airlines, Air Busan received the highest rating in cabin facilities with 3.27, while T’way Air received the lowest with 3.10.

Overall, the low-cost carriers performed best in reservations and employee service, both of which were rated an average 3.54. Employee service evaluates the responsiveness and effectiveness of staff onboard flights and during check-in and boarding.

T’way Air received the highest rating in both these categories, with 3.57 for employee service and 3.59 for its reservation process. The airline also topped the category of overall experience, which evaluates general satisfaction during the flight, with 3.50.

Across all airlines, though, overall experience was rated third highest among the categories, with 3.46.

Satisfaction with prices came in sixth, or second to last, with 3.22. The agency official said the purchase price of flights received moderate ratings, but the average score was dragged down by the low-cost carriers’ lack of benefits such as mileage points and free seat selection.

Overall, T’way Air received the highest average across all seven categories with 3.52. Air Busan and Jin Air tied for second with 3.49, followed by Eastar Jet and Jeju Air, which each received 3.45 and 3.42.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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