SAA is the worst airline in South Africa

The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) for Airlines conducted by Consulta reveals that FlySafair has the highest ranking while SAA has the worst ranking.

The SA-csi for Airlines offers insights into local airlines by measuring customers’ overall satisfaction.

It also includes, among other measures, a Customer Expectations Index, a Perceived Quality Index, and a Perceived Value Index.

The sample included 1,025 customers of the five biggest airlines, who were randomly selected to participate in the survey.

Domestic airline rankings

The SA-csi polled customers of British Airways (Comair), FlySafair, Kulula, Mango, and South African Airways (SAA).

FlySafair leads the SA-csi ranking, with 78 points out of 100, followed by British Airways which scored 75.7, while Kulula reached 74.4 – all in leader positions.

Mango scored on par with the industry average of 74 points. SAA lagged behind with 68.8 and well below the industry average of 72.4.

“FlySafair’s performance has been particularly robust, driven by a focus on customer service and on-time departures and arrivals,” said SA-csi founder Adré Schreuder.

“According to statistics published by the Airport Company South Africa, FlySafair scored an average on-time performance of 93.6% for 2018, well ahead of other local airlines.”

He said FlySafair was able to balance being a low-cost airline without sacrificing customer service.

SAA not meeting expectations

The research shows that SAA has an Expectation-Quality gap of -0.9, which means that customer expectations are not being met in terms of perceived quality.

SAA also had the worst Price-Quality gap of all airlines, which means that people do not feel the price they pay is fair when looking at the quality provided.

SAA also finished last in perceived value and perceived quality – and had the highest incidence of complaints.

“When you consider half of SAA complaints are not handled to a satisfactory level for customers, this will have a very direct and negative impact on overall customer satisfaction, and in turn loyalty,” Schreuder said.

Domestic airlines infographic

Now read: “It is not safe to fly SAA”

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SAA is the worst airline in South Africa