Making the Public Feel Safe: The Passengers’ Viewpoint.
Aerophobia has always been and probably always will be a significant issue for millions of passengers around the world. We all know that flying is about as safe a way to travel as it’s possible to get, so how can passengers be reassured and feel safer in the air?
Following a recent Brookfield survey, we have found that feedback from passengers is strongly in favour of a more contact driven approach from the pilots. Whilst understanding the need for enhanced security, passengers do feel that the loss of visual contact with aircrew over recent years has been retrograde. Many feel that the installation of in-cabin screens over which pilots are able to welcome passengers as well as providing in-flight updates enhances passenger comfort by way of reassurance. In the absence of direct contact, this provides a workable and inexpensive solution. Indeed, the cost can easily be covered via corporate subscription and advertising over the same screens.
Passengers also expressed a strong preference for a more rigorous approach to medical first aid provision on flights. For example, it should be mandatory to provide evidence of the first aid training held by cabin crew and defibrillators on all aircrafts. In both cases, passengers would feel comforted by the knowledge that in the event of a medical emergency, cabin crew have the training and equipment to cope. It has become clear that recent well published events highlighting the problems which are frequently caused as a result of the lack of a defibrillator are raising passenger concerns. In addition, defibrillators are now a commonplace in public areas, and again relatively inexpensive.
However, predictably, there was also strong opposition to any enhancements adding to ticket prices, especially on short haul flights; but, given the relatively low capital cost involved, airlines would be well advised to consider these enhancements.
Overall, there were high levels of customer satisfaction with the flight experience and relatively little concern over recent aviation disasters. Despite that, there is a clear demand for more personal pilot contact and better medical provision, both of which could be provided at low cost whilst significantly improving customer experience.