“The airline industry has been on a steady downward trajectory when it comes to customer service for nearly 40 years,” said Henry H. Harteveldt, the president of the Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry research firm. He noted that American carriers were improving on some metrics — on-time service is up, baggage loss is down and prices keep getting better.
What keeps deteriorating are comfort and quality of service for low-end passengers (i.e., most people). Legroom keeps shrinking. Airlines keep tacking on separate fees for amenities we used to consider part of the flight. And customers keep going along with it.
“Consumers have shown that they’re willing to put up with an awful lot, including lack of legroom, lack of amenities, mediocre or worse customer service, dirty airplanes and more to save money,” Mr. Harteveldt said. “And the airline industry has evolved to meet that desire” for cheap fares."