The ballots have been counted. And the number one thing air travelers are stressing out about is … missing their flight.
That’s according to a new survey by reservations system Amadeus. Some 73 percent of travelers said a missed connection is “just about the biggest holiday stressor.” In second place — surprise! — is the lack of room between airplane seats (70 percent).
What else is driving you crazy about flying? Delays (55 percent), waiting in line (41 percent), lost luggage (37 percent), that pesky liquid ban (36 percent) and overbooked flights (32 percent).
You’re probably wondering why the results of this ballot are more important than, say, the embarrassing defeat of the Republican party in yesterday’s midterm elections.
I’ll tell you why: The more polls like this are done, the likelier the airline industry will be to address these important — and in this blogger’s humble opinion, unaddressed — issues.
Not all problems are fixable. Certainly, the Lilliputian steerage seats can, and should, be addressed. Ditto for flight delays, lost luggage and overbooked flights.
But is anyone in the airline industry listening? I think, to paraphrase a line from my favorite martial-arts movie, they listen, but they do not hear.
So this year, as I have done in the past, I would urge all those airline executives who have added to our collective stress to do one, simple thing.
Take one of your own flights. In economy class. While you’re at it, check your luggage. If you have a family, bring them along, and ask them how they felt about waiting in line, sitting in a seat with no legroom, missing a connection and maybe, if you’re unlucky, even losing their luggage.
There’d be no need for a poll, with that kind of valuable customer feedback. And who knows? It might change the way our airlines do business.