Ticket price was the top most factor, followed by the airline’s service reputation and seat/cabin comfort in close order.
Surprisingly, not many readers were concerned about an airline’s alliance membership, or the reputation of the airline’s connecting hub, or the visa requirements of the connecting hub, the last factor being some comfort to the European carriers who are perceived to suffer lost passengers thanks to the strict visa regulations of their respective governments.
Quite clearly, respondents are willing to compromise on schedules and take longer flights, nor are they over concerned about the quality of food (as a foodie it is difficult for me to digest), and on-time performance which is in contrast to the high importance placed on punctuality for domestic air travel.
Again a surprise is the large number of responses that indicated aircraft type as a deciding factor. This ties in to the importance given to seat and cabin comfort considering the long lengths of international flights.
Reflecting the growth of international tourism as well as the large Indian diaspora overseas that regularly returns to India for holidays, there is a slim majority in responses by leisure travellers compared to those who primarily travel for business.
Note from editor.
Survey method. For each factor, respondents were asked to rank from 1 (not important) to 6 (deal breaker) a minimum of two decision factors and a maximum of six.
Each rank was allotted a weight from 0 (for rank 1) to 10 (for rank 6).
The number of responses for each rank were multiplied by the rank weight to arrive at the factor’s weighted average, which in turn was multiplied by the total number of responses for that factor to arrive at a factor weighted count.