WHY AIRLINE SATISFACTION IS CLIMBING TO RECORD HEIGHTS

Does YOUR favorite airline top the list?

By Caitlyn Callahan

AAA World Article

Have you been considering booking a trip, but are dreading the lines and experience in the airport? According to a new study, now may actually be the best time in history to fly.

A combination of newer planes, new technology, better ticket value, and improved customer service have driven overall airline satisfaction ratings to all-time highs, according to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. 

Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranks highest, followed by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines are in a tie at the top of the low-cost carriers list.

The study reports record-high customer satisfaction with airlines, and customer satisfaction of traditional carriers is also improving. One of the most satisfying experiences reported is now the reservation and check-in experiences, driven by investments in new digital technology.

In-flight service, on the other hand, still remains low-ranked. That includes seatback entertainment, food service, and Wi-Fi.

“While low-cost carriers have historically had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our study, due to a strong sense of value for money among customers, that line is starting to blur as traditional carriers improve their services and operations,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power.

TRADITIONAL CARRIER SATISFACTION INDEX RANKING
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

  1. Alaska Airlines – 801
  2. Delta Air Lines – 788
  3. American Airlines – 764
  4. Segment Average – 763
  5. Air Canada – 729
  6. United Airlines – 723

LOW-COST CARRIER SATISFACTION INDEX RANKING
(Based on a 1,000 point scale)

  1. JetBlue Airways – 817
  2. Southwest Airlines – 817
  3. Segment Average – 793
  4. WestJet – 758
  5. Spirit Airlines – 711
  6. Frontier Airlines – 702

The survey measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers in North America based on performance in seven factors: cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/
baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. It surveys both business and leisure travelers, and the 2019 results were based on responses from nearly 6,000 passengers between March 2018 and March 2019.