Written by Heidi Heller, CNN
Every day, on average, air travelers on about 10,000 flights around the world spend at least an hour waiting in the airline terminal, waiting to depart or arrive at their destination.
This seemingly futile waiting time can actually lead to very long lines — that’s the verdict from a new survey of US and UK air travelers, conducted by travel website Kayak and Callcentre.com.
When asked to name a company they had been waiting at a long time with, Kayak respondents chose United Airlines as the longest line-wait on the plane. While United had been in the news for constantly denying compensation to customers whose flights were delayed, this news upset travelers more than any other airline.
Airline service still falls short
Over the past four years, the UK has seen a fall in the number of flight delays, but over the past year, these numbers have shown an uptick.
Even so, things appear to be getting better, according to the report: from 2014 to 2015, 37% of UK passengers reported flight delays, but only 23% of respondents in the new survey.
The best airlines
While travelers surveyed were less negative about airline service on planes than airline service at airports, it still fell short of being an industry-leading experience.
Travelers were asked to nominate an airline they’d most like to fly with. The highest ranking company, owned by United Airlines (UAL) and Ryanair, came out on top for customer service overall, even in the absence of a date confirmation system, which other industry leaders, including British Airways, had.
Survey respondents did not hold airlines to the same standards as hotels, however. Kayak and Callcentre concluded that hotels still do a better job at meeting consumers’ expectations for travel accommodation — in particular, by providing personal service.