In the complex and dynamic world of aviation, flight disruptions are an inescapable reality that impacts millions of passengers worldwide yearly. Airlines face the formidable challenge of minimizing the inconvenience and distress caused by delays, re-scheduling, re-routing, and cancellations. A new report by CMAC Group suggests technology is not the only answer. Passenger satisfaction during disruptions also requires the human touch.
The Study Unveiling Passenger Pain Points
CMAC’s recent research, encapsulated as a detailed whitepaper, unravels the intricacies of passenger experiences during flight disruptions. The study, involving 1,100 UK adults, reveals that 66% believe flight disruptions have exacerbated over the past years, with 23% perceiving a significant decline in service quality during such events.
Airlines fell short of resolving disruption for their passengers. Among the passengers requiring alternative transport arrangements, only 47% did so with support from the airline, while 53% made their own alternative arrangements. Of passengers requiring temporary accommodation, 61% had no airline support.
The Role of Technology and Human Touch
In an era dominated by technological advancements, CMAC’s study offers intriguing insights. While 63% of passengers appreciate the role of automated technology in enhancing the airport experience, a staggering 82% prefer human interaction during flight disruptions.
Peter Slater, CEO of CMAC, affirms that technology should complement, not replace, the human touch in such scenarios.
“Technology has an important role to play for the travel industry, and passengers are generally appreciative of how automation is streamlining the experience in airports,” Slater says. “When things go wrong, however, our research shows that nothing can replace the human touch. For airlines, it’s clear that winning consumer confidence and demonstrating a willingness to put things right when flights are canceled or delayed – with a real person on hand – can offer a crucial competitive advantage. Whilst the last few years have undeniably been turbulent for aviation, and some of the disruption passengers have faced has clearly been unavoidable for the airlines, a concerted effort in this area is essential for airlines attempting to earn the long-term loyalty of passengers. Technology needs to be used as an enabler, not a replacement, for airline and ground handling staff to provide quick, in-person and meaningful re-accommodation and alternative transport solutions to disrupted passengers.”
A Closer Look at the Whitepaper
For a detailed exploration of passenger perspectives on disruption events and an analysis of airlines’ responses, download the full CMA white paper. It offers comprehensive insights into the measures that can bolster passenger experience, seamlessly integrating technology and the indispensable human touch.
CMAC Group – Mastering the Art of Flight Disruption Management
Established in 2007, CMAC Group has carved its niche as a specialist in managing flight disruptions for airlines. Offering 24/7/365 time-critical alternative transport and accommodation, the company ensures that passengers and crew across the globe are well-catered for, turning a potentially distressing experience into one of reassurance and support.
CMAC Group supports the safe transport of over 2.5 million passengers a year. Their award-winning solutions are trusted by the Civil Aviation Authority, various airports, airlines, and ground handling agencies. In 2022, CMAC Group acquired Suntransfers, one of Europe’s leading airport transfer companies, and continued its expansion in 2023 with the addition of Netherlands-based Airline Services & Accommodation Partner (A.S. & A.P.). This resulted in the Group’s turnover surpassing £150 million.