Nobody likes flying anymore, and there are plenty of good reasons for that.
The airline industry is currently suffering from a labor shortage, particularly when it comes to pilots. Many have decided to acquire or retire early during the pandemic, and the industry is struggling to replace them.
They also struggled to get enough engineers, flight attendants, and office workers, and those who were still around started leaving, because they were tired of yelling over things that weren’t their fault. The general consensus among experts is that the only way airlines can solve this problem is to increase salaries and rigorous efforts to protect employees from abuse; It can be argued that airlines have been reluctant to take this course.
Throw in increasingly unpredictable weather due to the growing effects of climate change and staff sickness from the coronavirus, and the result is that flight delays and outright cancellations are more frequent than ever. It got to the point that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stepped in and told the industry it needed to start doing better, starting with offering food and hotel vouchers to travelers who had experienced delays and cancellations.
Southwest Airlines (love) Employees are saddened that their owners, in their opinion, make them look bad, and tarnish the company’s image as leaders in customer service, because they have begun picketing places where Southwest managers congregate.
Of course, flying isn’t the only way to get anywhere. But it turns out that people also don’t really like the car rental industry, and a new survey by JD Power has provided some details on why that is.
Avis and Hertz struggle over rental inventory
In the past year, there have been plenty of stories about customers who showed up to the airport to get their rental car, only to find the car they booked (and often paid for in advance) wasn’t available.
The short version of the story is that during the pandemic, car rental companies like Hertz (HTZZW) and Avis (Sentences) Hard hit, as much of its business collapsed, it was down 41 percent year-over-year in 2020. To keep the lights on, companies started selling their cars, a move that seemed shortsighted but necessary, from the companies’ point of view.
When the epidemic began to subside, car rental companies found themselves shorted and unable to stock up quickly enough. This problem has only been amplified by the lack of computer chips for new cars, by supply chain problems.
The result was that Hertz and other companies did not have enough cars to get around, and customers were often not told about the problem until they reached the help desk. As a result, customer satisfaction with auto companies during the height of the pandemic fell on average by 11 points, to 830, on a 1,000-point scale, according to Travel Weekly.
Since then, the shortage of chips has improved somewhat, as has the supply of cars in the rental car industry. But it turns out that customers are less happy with the state of the car rental industry.
People are really angry with the car rental industry
Overall customer satisfaction with the industry this year was 829, down from 830 in 2021 and 841 in 2020, according to JD Power.
What’s going on? Well, you know what’s unresolved? Car rental fees, which are up 14% this year.
said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at JD Power.
“If car rental companies are to offset the impact of these cost increases on customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, they will have to work hard to deliver significant value through increased service.”
The survey notes that Enterprise ranks first in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 865 on a 1,000-point scale, with National scoring second at 859 and the Alamo third at 837.
The 2022 North American Car Rental Satisfaction Study was compiled from responses collected from 8,445 business travelers and tourists who rented a car at the airport site between August 2021 and August 2022.