Virgin Australia narrows the 'satisfaction gap' against Qantas

By David Flynn, December 19 2011
Virgin Australia narrows the 'satisfaction gap' against Qantas

Virgin Australia is closing the gap on Qantas when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to Roy Morgan Research.

The company's quarterly Domestic Airline Satisfaction report quarter shows Qantas still in the lead, with 84% of customers surveyed being either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied' for the three months to September 2011.

However, Qantas slipped from its previous all-time high of  87%  in June 2011, losing 3 points in as many months.

Virgin Australia gained over the same period as Qantas fell, with its most noticeable uptick in the final month to reach 81%.

"Although Qantas still has a small lead over Virgin Australia the gap is likely to close further in the coming months" predicts Jane Ianniello, Roy Morgan Research International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, noting that Virgin is "likely to rise further with its quick response in putting on more flights during the Qantas industrial dispute."

Jetstar's domestic customers followed well down at 68%, while Tiger managed to claw its way back up to 44%.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

15 Aug 2011

Total posts 33



04 Nov 2010

Total posts 671

Can't argue with this, Virgin has been giving travellers very little reason to gripe on the whole, compared to the industrial issues of Qantas. Doesn't matter if you side with Qantas or the unions, delays and cancellations don't make for happy and 'satisfied' travellers. After the big shut-down I really wonder if by the end of the year the next survey sill see Virgin overtake Qantas, there's only 3% in it already and look at the chart, Qantas has been steadily dropping from around middle of the year, the same period Virgin has been steady or increasing. If that trend continues then it's going to be a neck and neck "photo finish"!

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 529

Although judging by the chart... Virgin has previously overtaken Qantas, just to lose it again. 

With my recent experience on Virgin, I would suggest that they don't deserve to overtake Qantas. My last four flights on Qantas in the last month have been outstanding. Interestingly, they seem better after Alan Joyce pulled his stunt than they did before! 

26 May 2011

Total posts 62

So even with all the Industrial action, constant biased reporting about Qantas, and the apparent disatisfaction with QF service, and Virgin STILL trails, and has done for most of the year? Doesn't say much for VA!

My last Virgin Premium flight booked from OOL-SYD. As I was about to check in, received a text 'confirming' my seat on a flight some 5 hours later. Somewhat confused I proceeded to the Business check in to be informed that my original flight had been cancelled, and I had been rebooked on the later flight, meaning a missed connection with Etihad in Melbourne. As the inbound flight had been cancelled, VA knew some 3 hours before that my flight wouldn't be operating. Had they notified me earlier I could have arranged to fly from BNE. The VA agent informed me, curtly, there was nothing she could do but I would be entitled to a full refund. Gee, outstanding! Luckily I managed to secure a flight with Tiger that had me in MEL in time for my connection. Excellent customer service! No wonder they trail QF. 

16 Aug 2011

Total posts 9

3 months ago, I paid extra for the exit row seat on my last Qantas trip, as im tall. With my legs stretched out infront of me (which i paid for remember), the flight steward, came and slapped my legs and was told that space was not for me to use, but for people waiting for the toilets!

Makes me think 2 things:

  1. Is it appropriate to assult your customers?
  2. When you pay for the space, shouldn't it be exclusive use?

I have since flown twice - both with Virgin.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Virgin Australia narrows the 'satisfaction gap' against Qantas