According to the results of a JD Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study, food and in-flight entertainment outrank ticket prices when it comes to boosting overall passenger satisfaction.
On long-haul flights flying from North America to Europe and Asia, food and beverage offerings emerged the primary drivers of passenger satisfaction among international travelers.
Turkish Airlines emerged top in class for carriers flying between North America and Europe, followed by Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.
For flights between North America to Asia, Japan Airlines ranks highest, followed by Delta Air Lines and Korean Air.
“A low fare may be the best way to attract a first-time international passenger,” said lead travel intelligence analyst Michael Taylor in a statement.
“But retaining passengers on routes to Europe and Asia is all about delighting customers with great in-flight experiences. One of the most powerful ways to do that is with food and beverage offerings that are unique to the airline’s culture and that manage to deliver flavor at altitude, where it has been proven that taste buds grow less sensitive.”
For the report, more than 6,285 passengers were asked to evaluate airlines based on nine factors: in-flight services; cost and fees; aircraft; flight crew; check-in; boarding; immigration; baggage; and reservation.
Other factors that tend to attract repeat customers include good customer service, convenient scheduling, reputation and lower ticket prices.
The survey also showed that luggage fees and availability of Wi-Fi and direct flights are given much less importance among international travelers compared to domestic flyers.