Study: Virgin America Keeps Customers On Hold Longer Than Any Other Airline

Holiday travel plans change all the time, meaning lots of people will be spending lots of time on the phone trying to speak to a human being. And according to a new report, passengers on Virgin America should have something to occupy themselves with while waiting on hold, as the average wait time for the carrier is longer than 20 minutes.

In fact, according to the STELLAService study, not only is the 24:19 wait time to speak to a human being by far the longest among the 13 airlines in the survey, it’s more than the next four-worst airlines’ wait times combined!

And it wasn’t just a few ridiculously long waits that threw off the study’s numbers for Virgin America — the survey shows that a whopping 73% of calls placed to the airline required longer than 30 minutes just to speak to a human being.

The airline is currently advising passengers that wait times will likely be longer while it transitions to a new reservation system, but… whoa.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines took the top two spots with both carriers only having wait times in the 90 second range. The best of the country’s major carriers was American, which clocked in at just over two minutes.

The worst of the majors was United — more precisely, the Continental call center for United — with an average wait time of 6:08. If it’s any consolation, the United call center wasn’t much better (average wait time — 5:49), so it’s not like either airline will definitely drag the other’s phone banks into the mire.

See below for the full results:
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Handling the Pre-Thanksgiving Travel Rush: STELLAService Tests Airlines on Call Support [STELLAService blog]