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Airline Pain Index 2019

If life’s a journey, just how painful is the ride? From crowded flights to opaque carry-on rules, modern air travel can be a complex experience. Qualtrics Industry Pain Indexes look at common frustrations and issues that customers experience across various industries. Using data from a cross-section of consumers, these studies do not compare companies, but rather focus instead on industry-wide trends. First up: Airlines.

The top 5 reasons passengers never fly with an airline again:

We asked passengers which negative experiences would cause them not to fly with an airline again. These five rose to the top with at least 1 in 4 passengers citing each of them as a reason to leave an airline behind for good.

0% 50%
Lost Luggage
Hidden Fees
Flight Cancelled
Unfriendly Flight Crews
Unclean Lavatories

Millennials care more about punctuality than comfort


Millennials are twice as likely as boomers to quit an airline because of a delayed flight


Millennials are 25% less likely than boomers to quit an airline for lack of legroom

Who likes the middle seat?


People who are married but separated are 5X more likely to prefer the middle seat than other married passengers

Crying while flying


of passengers have had an experience with a flight that was so bad it drove them to tears



of people have had an experience with an airline that was so bad they decided never to fly with that airline again


premium flyers say no free flight changes would cause them to switch airlines

Support animal or creative excuse?


passengers who fly with animals believe that 60% or more of emotional support animals on flights are not legitimate emotional support animals

The burden of having to choose


Baby Boomers are 2.5X as likely as younger passengers to cite having no assigned seat as their biggest frustration while flying

Flying is better with a view


Passengers who prefer the window seat are 40% more likely to give the airline industry an A grade than those who prefer the aisle


Passengers who prefer the window seat are 25% more likely to always look forward to flying than those who prefer the aisle

Good experiences = loyal customers


23% of people will always try to fly with that airline again for their next flight

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