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Gallup Poll: Most Passengers Happy with Airlines

Aired September 1, 2000 - 1:09 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Airline delays are a sore spot with some travelers, but a new poll shows most passengers are happy with the airlines.

We turn now to Gallup Poll editor-in-chief Frank Newport. He is here with the results.

Hi, Frank.

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: Hello, Kyra.

In fact this is what we call in polling a counter-intuitive finding. We all anticipated that satisfaction with the airlines and on time performance would be down this summer because of all the problems United and other airlines have been having. But, low and behold, that is not the case.

Let's show you compared to last -- this is overall satisfaction with major airlines compared to last summer. It was 65 percent were satisfied last August. We just finished this poll this past weekend. And look at this, it is actually up some 4 percent, not really significant, 69 percent of the public now satisfied. So we find no decrement in flyer satisfaction with the airlines.

We can get more specific. United's big problems have been on- time performance. So we measured that compared to last year: same idea, 67 percent satisfied last August; this past weekend, 65 percent, no big difference at all in terms of how flyers rate on time performance.

We did split it out. This is always the case. Frequent flyers are usually more critical of everything having to do with the airlines because they are exposed more than non-frequent flyers.

These are one to two airline flights in the last year, those people 69 percent satisfied with on-time performance. It is slightly lower among those who take three or more trips, 60 percent. But still, that's relatively high, not a huge divergence, and this column here is not really very low.

In fact, Kyra, one thing we found is satisfaction with ticket prices has gone up from last summer; now all the way up to 59 percent. In other words, people are actually happier, at least with the fact that they perceive they are paying less to fly this summer than they did last summer.

All in all, a pretty good report card directly from the American public -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Frank, thanks.

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