-By Selena Franchini
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a significant worldwide disruption to flight operations, affecting the lives of millions of passengers.
Air transportation is a major contributor to the quick spread of COVID-19 throughout the world, and passengers have been severely affected — sometimes stranded — by the sudden disappearance of air transportation services.
A recent study by KAUST Professor Eric Feron, in collaboration with Philippe Monmousseau, a student at Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, offers an airline observatory created by passengers for passengers that shows the effects of COVID-19-related travel restrictions on the U.S. air transportation sector.
“There has been much press coverage of the recent economic hardship of airlines and aircraft manufacturers,” Feron notes. “By looking at the U.S. transportation market as an example, and data generated by passengers on Twitter and elsewhere, we have found that there are large differences in the treatment of passengers across airlines and airports.”
In this study, Feron suggests seven metrics that provide passengers with an assessment of the standard of airline customer service models based on passenger-generated data.
“In close to real-time we can observe how the travel restrictions impacted the relationship between significant stakeholders of the U.S. air transportation system, namely passengers, airports, and airlines,” he explains. The observatory will remain active when regular air traffic resumes, and passengers will still be able to give their feedback on the airline quality experience.
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Authors: Philippe Monmousseau, Aude Marzuoli, Eric Feron, Daniel Delahaye.