The survey of more than 9,500 Saga members revealed those opting for a regional departure (89%) over a major international airport, do so because they live closer to the airport. For the over 50s, ease and convenience of travelling locally were the main reasons, with half of the respondents revealing they would change airline (53%) to fly from their preferred regional airport, whilst a similar proportion said they would be willing to pay marginally more (48%) to fly locally.
The survey looked at several airport pet-hates, from queues at the check-in desk to the cost of parking, flight availability, staff helpfulness and comfort. DSA came top in every category apart from range of food and shops available, scoring particularly high in check-in queue, security queue, baggage queue and cost of parking. It was the only airport to secure above eight out of ten on any category, 0.5 point ahead of any other airport in the UK.
Ian Smith, Head of Commercial and Passenger Experience at DSA, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with this result in the Saga survey. Offering a first-class customer experience not bettered anywhere else is what we pride ourselves on so it’s great to see it recognised. It’s testament to the hard work of the team and recognition of our efforts to deliver great customer service at reasonable prices, from parking, to food and beverages, to flights and travel. Saga is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK, known for its high level of customer service so this commendation will sit very nicely alongside our Which? Magazine award for the UKs best small airport.
“It is really important to us that everyone who travels through DSA has the best experience possible and we are immensely proud of our record of achievement to date. This survey has highlighted how much customers value the quality of the journey as much as the end destination.
“We continue to expand our customer offering with the launch of TUI, and Yorkshire’s only long-haul route to Sandford, Florida, starting in May 2019, together with six new routes next summer. Flybe began flights to Belfast in June and we’ll be starting a new Wizz route to Debrecen later in the year. We will continue to work hard to ensure that we keep our standards high, so that our customers continue to have a great travel experience that begins as soon as they’ve parked their car.”
Maria Whiteman, Managing Director of Saga Holidays commented: “It is clear that people love the convenience of travelling from their closest airport and the benefits of regional airports do not stop there. People find they queue less at smaller airports, the staff are more helpful and flight information displayed more clearly.”