Public opinion gives airline industry a battering

Airlines given huge negative two-year swing in influential survey

The airline industry received the biggest negative swing out of any industry in the United States in a recent survey conducted every two years – a sign of public discontent over the numerous surcharges that have been added. The Harris Poll measures how the public perceives 22 industries. Besides a substantial positive upswing in public perceptions that the automobile industry is doing a good job of serving consumers, one of the biggest changes since the previous poll in 2009 was a 27-point decline, from plus 34 to plus 7, for airlines.
Respondents were asked: “Do you think the airline industry generally does a good or bad job of serving their consumers?” Exactly 50% said “a good job”, 43% said “a bad job” and the remainder said they were not sure. The positive minus the negative gives airlines a score of 7 – one of the worst in any industry. It is the industry’s worst result since the poll began in 1998, when the positive minus the negative gave airlines a score of 66. It remained high until dipping suddenly in 2006-07.
The industries with the best images among the public are supermarkets (plus 80), online search engines (plus 74) and hospitals (plus 66), the least popular are oil companies (minus 31), tobacco companies (minus 21) and managed care companies (minus 13).
[pictured: Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus]