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Qantas and Singapore Airlines set flight path for customer satisfaction success

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), November 2014 – October 2015 (n=15,474) and August–October 2015 (n=3,728). Base: Australians 14+

In an average four weeks, 7.6 million Australians fly on a domestic airline, 4.6 million travel with an international airline and 1.9 million fly domestic business class. Even allowing for crossover, that’s a whole lot of passengers to keep happy. But, as the October Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction Awards reveal, certain airlines are doing a first-class job.

On the domestic front, Qantas excelled itself, triumphing in both categories: Domestic Airline and Domestic Business Airline. Back on top in the Domestic Airline category for the first time in four months, Qantas is showing signs of regaining the fine form with which it started the year. An 84% satisfaction rating puts it just ahead of last month’s winner Virgin Australia (82%).

Although both airlines lost some ground in the Domestic Business Airline category since September, Qantas maintained a convincing lead over Virgin Australia, with 84% of its business-class customers saying they were satisfied with the airline, compared with Virgin Australia’s 78%.

Customer satisfaction: airlines, October 2015

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), November 2014 – October 2015 (n=15,474) and August–October 2015 (n=3,728). Base: Australians 14+

There were no surprises in the International Airline category: just as it has done every other month this year, Singapore Airlines flew highest, impressing 91% of its customers. In second spot, as it has been all year also, was Emirates with an 88% satisfaction score. Air New Zealand and Thai Airways snagged third and fourth spots respectively, both making improvements on their September ratings.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Singapore Airlines continues to set the bar extremely high in the international airline category, achieving satisfaction ratings of 90% or higher for most of 2015. Part of its success stems from the ability to impress male and female passengers equally, whereas there are marked discrepancies between men and women who flew the other four airlines in this month’s top five. 

“Domestic Airline of the month, Qantas, performed better with its female (86%) than its male (81%) passengers, a situation they’d be wise to monitor; while Qantaslink and Jetstar were judged far more favourably by women than men who flew with them. Virgin Australia was the only domestic airline to receive similar satisfaction ratings from male and female customers this month.

“Air travel can evoke some strong reactions from passengers: one delayed flight, or a faulty in-flight entertainment system, and their previously positive image of an airline can be compromised. With demographics, attitudes and expectations also feeding into how a passenger rates their experience, customer satisfaction is a complex formula to perfect. Roy Morgan Research data can help airlines take a more focused approach to their customer service strategy.”

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Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%