Smartphones users surge in India, but shun airlines on Facebook, Twitter: Survey

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 3 2013, 00:52am hrs
FacebookThough people may be active on social media like Facebook and Twitter, only 21 per cent respondents said they follow airlines on any social media.
The survey, India Airline Experience Survey 2013 by travel portal TripAdvisor, conducted on over 2,500 respondents, found that despite an increase in number of smartphone users in India, only 23 per cent respondents had the app of an airline on their mobile.

Among app users, checking flight options and status were the two most popular functions followed by web check-in. The number of flyers using web check-in facilities also witnessed a marginal dip as compared to last year.

Around 76 per cent air travellers indicated they used web check-in facility "sometimes" or "always" as compared to 80 per cent last year.

Though people may be active on social media like Facebook and Twitter, only 21 per cent respondents said they follow airlines on any social media. Those who followed liked to follow Jet Airways, Indigo and Spice Jet.

IndiGo, which is the market leader, trumped Jet Airways as the most preferred domestic airline by a distinct margin this year as compared to last year.

The no-frills airline emerged as the clear winner and rated best on-time performance, value for money, quality of landing and take off, time taken to deliver baggage and in-flight maintenance.

Jet Airways rated best on the parameters of ground handling, appearance of cabin crew (staff grooming, uniform) seat comfort or leg room, in-flight entertainment, website experience, in-flight food and beverages and check-in process at the airport.

The survey found that national carrier Air India continues its legacy as least favourite domestic airline for third year in a row.

Also, it continues to be perceived as the most unsafe airline by Indian travellers while IndiGo again trumps Jet Airways as the safest domestic airline.

Among the international carriers, travellers voted Dubai-based Emirates as the best international airline on all parameters, third year in a row followed by Singapore airlines and Lufthansa.

Among the new entrants, TATA-Singapore Airlines and AirAsia, 53 per cent Indian travellers said they would prefer to fly TATA-SIA airways before they try Air Asia.

About 48 per cent travellers also believe that AirAsia's entry into the Indian market would create a competitive environment and airfares would go down temporarily.

"In the wake of airlines such as AirAsia poised to enter, clearly interesting times are in store for the Indian aviation sector," said Nihkil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India.

"Another key trend that has emerged from our survey is that the consumers seem to be divided into two strong groups, one who are ready to pay a consolidated fare and the other who prefer to take the basic fare and add items as per need," he said.

While 37 per cent respondents were comfortable with inclusive fares, 24 per cent respondents said they don't mind paying basic fare and adding items as per their needs.

Another 14 per cent respondents said unbundled fares were great for solo or overnight business travellers with minimum luggage, but not for a family going on a holiday.

Travellers believed that airlines were not transparent when it comes to costs.

Nearly 50 per cent the respondents thought domestic airlines were not transparent about all the costs while booking a flight, like cost of meal and extra baggage costs, compared with 42 per cent last year.