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Singapore Airlines has been named as the airline whose service Australians are most satisfied with, according to research from Roy Morgan Research, while Qantas tops the list for customer satisfaction among domestic carriers.
Singapore Airlines topped the poll with a customer satisfaction rating of 90 per cent, ahead of Emirates (87 per cent), Qantas (83 per cent) and Garuda (82 per cent).
"There is a lot at stake when it comes to international air travel: flights generally (but not always) take longer than domestic routes, and details that might be forgiven on a short 90-minute trip take on greater importance," Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michele Levine said."
The quality of in-flight entertainment, seat comfort, meals and even other passengers can all impact dramatically on satisfaction levels, making Singapore Airlines' consistently high results all the more impressive," she said. It is the third year in a row Singapore Airlines has ranked at the top of the ratings.
Qantas' 83 per cent rating put it well ahead of rival Virgin Australia, which scored 74 per cent. The lowest ranked airline by Australians was American Airlines, with a score of just 44 per cent.
Qantas also led Virgin Australia on domestic flights, with an 87 per cent satisfaction rating. Its regional brand Qantaslink was just behind with 86 per cent, both well ahead of Virgin Australia on 79 per cent. Qantas scored especially well with its younger passengers.
Tiger Airways scored just 47 per cent satisfaction from domestic travellers.
The news comes as Qantas was also named Australia's best airline in TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards, with travellers citing the airline's frequent flyer program and customer service as key attractions.
The news was better for Virgin last week, when it was named as the place Australians would most like to work in the annual Randstad Awards, in which the recruitment agency measures the relative attractiveness of organisations.
Virgin Australia has been improving its service offerings in recent years as it moves to compete with Qantas for lucrative business travellers. Most recently the airline announced it would now offer complementary food and beverages on all flights, bringing it into line with its rival full-service carrier.
The Roy Morgan Research results on international airlines were based on research conducted between March last year and February this year with Australians over the age of 14 who had used an international airline in the past 12 months. For domestic airlines, the survey period was December 2014 to February this year.
Top international airlines for customer service
(click on the flight tests for Traveller's airline reviews)
1. Singapore (97%)
(Flight test: Singapore Airlines economy)
2. Emirates (87%)
(Flight test: Emirates first class)
3. Qantas (83%)
(Flight test: Qantas premium economy)
4. Garuda Indonesia (82%)
(Flight test: Garuda business class)
5. Cathay Pacific (81%)
(Flight test: Cathay Pacific premium economy)
6. Thai Airways (81%)
(Flight test: Thai Airways business class)
7. Air New Zealand (80%)
(Flight test: Air New Zealand business class)
8. Qatar Airways (77%)
(Flight test: Qatar business class)
9. British Airways (77%)
(Flight test: British Airways premium economy)
10. Hawaiian Airlines (76%)
(Flight test: Hawaiian Airlines economy class)
Customer service ratings for domestic airlines
1. Qantas (87%)
2. Qantaslink (86%)
3. Virgin Australia (79%)
4. Jetstar (68%)
5. Tiger Airways (47%)