ORLANDO, Fla. Dec. 9, 1997--When consumers said airline food needed improvement, airlines were quick to respond...they reduced the number of flights on which they serve meals, and the quality of the meals as well.
Now consumers say they want more space for carry-on baggage, just when
airlines are asking the U.S.
government to reduce the number of bags which passengers will be permitted to take aboard commercial flights.
United Airlines has already led the charge. On Dec. 1, the airline started a policy that limits travelers paying the
lowest fare to one carry-on bag instead of the usual two. According to a company spokesman, the policy was
implemented to free up space for the frequent fliers who pay the highest fares.
While the Federal Aviation Administration mulls whether it will implement
a two-bag carry-on baggage limit for all
U.S. airlines, consumers say they want more space for carry-on baggage, no doubt because of frequently inept
handling, loss or damaged baggage.
According to the Yesawich, Pepperdine Brown/Yankelovich Partners 1997
MONITOR(sm), 65 percent of business travelers say they want more space for carry-on luggage, not less.
Why the disconnect between what travelers want and the ways in which airlines respond? "It's hard for most business travelers to imagine that the air travel experience could get any worse, but it appears the airlines have managed to make it happen," said Peter Yesawich, chief executive officer, YPB. "It's another classic example of how the airlines have neglected to listen to their customers," he added.
The Yesawich, Pepperdine Brown/Yankelovich Partners National Business
Travel MONITOR(sm) is based on
in-depth interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. households. The study is sponsored by
Universal Media/Travel Agent magazine and Wingate Inn, a hospitality division brand of HFS Inc.
YPB is a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations firm
headquartered in Orlando, Fla., with offices
in New York, Los Angeles, and St. Petersburg (Fla.). Yankelovich Partners is an international research and
consulting firm headquartered in Norwalk, Conn.