2014 Passenger Wish List for Airlines

The good news is that plentyof cheap traveloptions are available this year, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages. Flying could be made that much more enjoyablethough if the airlines would be open to changing some of their policies.

The following are suggestionson how airlines could improve passenger experiences, according to SmarterTravel:

  • Sell one way tickets for the same amount permile as round trip tickets, which currently only a few airlines to, such asJetBlue. Currently major legacy airlinescontinue to often sell one way or open jaw tickets at exorbitant prices.

  • Offer electronic boarding passes. This practice is only being followed todayby some airlines at select airports. Sometimes it is not convenient to find a printer and passengers tend notto want to wait in line at check-in desks at the airport. Spirit and AirTran are among the airlines toyet offer electronic boarding passes.

  • Arrive on time. The worst offender of on time arrival in September and October wasSouthwest Airlines where one in four of its planes were delayed.

  • Enable passengers to surf the Internet in thesky for free. The preferred future on inair entertainment is not dirty seatback screens with limited content. Instead customers are looking to be able tostream Netflix videos and review and respond to emails while flying.

  • Airlines should refund baggage fees when bagsare delayed. It makes no sense that anairline charges $25 for the privilege to check a bag and yet can misplace a bagfor days at your destination, without any financial reimbursement unless a bagis permanently lost.

  • Use humor to make flying a betterexperience. Humor helps passengersrelax, treat others better, and even see silliness in stressfulsituations. Everyone would benefit ifgate agents, attendants, and customer service reps demonstrated a little witand vivacity.

  • All airlines need to participate in theTransportation Security Administrations PreCheck program. Currently only nine airlines are part ofPreCheck. Passengers flying on AirTran,Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit are unable to receive expedited screening. Air travelers deserve a faster, morestreamlined security process, regardless of their airline.

  • Airlines should show its passengers accurateseat maps. Today airlines frequentlyhold back coach seats, reducing the pool of available seats to reserve free ofcharge in advance. As many as 30 to 40percent of coach seats are held in reserve for premium customers, people withspecial needs, and for those willing to pay extra.

  • Permit gate to gate electronic device usage vs.telling passengers to store such devices during takeoffs and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration hascleared gate to gate device usage on flights. Currently only select airlines allow mobile devices to be used duringtakeoffs and landings.

  • Make it easier for passengers to get responsesto complaints. This is particularly trueif the complaint is not registered via Twitter or Facebook. Passenger complaints via emails or phonecalls often feel futile. Customersshould not have to use social media to get an airlines attention. Airlines that engage in basic communicationskills and respond in a timely manner to emails would be less likely to havetheir faults exposed via the Internet.

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