Wittman shows network carriers receive more complaints than cheaper airlines


February 12, 2014

Consider the last time you dealt with an airline service mishap: a bag lost in transit, a flight delayed or canceled, or an overbooked plane. Are you more or less likely to make a formal complaint about service quality if you’re flying on a long-established “network” carrier or a newer, budget-friendly airline? According to a new MIT study, passengers of low-cost upstarts tend to complain less, even though the quality of service may be the same as more expensive airlines.

In a study published in the Journal of Air Transport Management, Michael Wittman, a graduate student in MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation, tallied airline-related complaints made to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from 2002 to 2012. He found that regardless of the type of service failure, passengers complained up to 10 times more often about network carriers than low-cost carriers. Continue reading the article on MIT news.

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