The question is: Why did it take so long?
TripAdvisor, the travel booking and review site, now allows passengers to rate their flights, just as they do hotels. The site had been trying out airline reviews in recent months, but this week’s rollout is much broader. Starting July 12, users were welcome to score their flights on a scale of 1 to 10 based on flight duration, quality of aircraft, in-flight amenities, and duration of itinerary.
These new reviews feed into TripAdvisor’s revamped booking site, allowing potential flyers the chance to sort flights by score. That’s potentially a handier feature now that passengers have so many options. Many of the big international airlines have expanded aggressively in recent years, Emirates among them, while low-cost carriers have added to competition.
If the choice of carrier wasn’t confusing enough, there are new classes of service, particularly for those in the coach cabin, which has been sliced into premium economy and whatever the opposite of that is. Then there are all the other luxuries for sale, like extra legroom and sitting with your children (paywall).
Those new options mean travelers need new insight to “demystify” the experience of buying a ticket, TripAdvisor says.
When searching for a flight, passengers can choose to filter their options by how high the flight was scored, not just by the cheapest option or schedule. For example, a search for a roundtrip ticket from Newark to London Heathrow showed a $1,269 flight—on United—as the highest scoring, but not the cheapest option.
So just how worried should airlines be? Well, you wouldn’t guess it by the number of passenger complaints voiced on Twitter, but according to TripAdvisor reviewers, airlines are doing a pretty decent job.