(Newsday; 05/30/99)

Nearly half of the frequent fliers surveyed recently by J.D. Power and Associates are dissatisfied with airline service. The most common complaints: on-time performance, seating issues, carry-on luggage space, food service and post-flight baggage delivery. "Of all the travel segments we study, satisfaction with airlines is the lowest," a spokesman told the Associated Press.

These findings are supported by complaints logged by a new Web site ( - "the online travelers' advocate"). says "Horrifying stories of undeserved treatment are being reported primarily about airlines." The service said it got more than 1,300 complaints from consumers and industry members in its first month, compared to 9,680 complaints reported by the Department of Transportation in all of 1998. As well as airing some of the worst on the Internet, it forwards complaints to hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies, government officials and various travel organizations.

To stimulate a popular uprising against slow and surly restaurant service, Zagat Survey is proposing a Diners' Bill of Rights and asking for input from visitors to its new Web site: In keeping with the Zagat practice of producing restaurant guidebooks based on surveys of eaters, Web visitors can vote and comment on a working draft of the bill (some entitlements suggested so far: the right to send dishes back, to refuse to tip, to be in a smoke-free and cell phone-free environment). "In the 20 years we have been publishing our Survey, there has always been one constant - the vast majority of restaurant diners cite poor service as their biggest complaint," co-publisher Tim Zagat told the AP.

(Copyright Newsday Inc., 1999)
{A3:Newsday-0530.00309} 05/30/99


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