Most of the airline stories that make the news are the negative ones. So it makes sense to think that customers are generally not very happy with their service. But in fact the customer satisfaction score has increased for the seventh consecutive year. That’s based on the 15th annual J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study released Wednesday.
The 10 airlines in the survey scored an average 773 out of 1,000, up from 762 in 2018. The score was below 700 as recently as 2013. Just two of the 10 airlines saw their scores fall from a year ago.
The J.D. Power study, based on responses from 5,966 business and vacation travelers who traveled on a major North American airline between March 2018 and March 2019, measures satisfaction in seven areas: cost and fees, in-flight services, aircraft, boarding/deplaning/baggage, flight crew, check-in and reservations.
JetBlue and Southwest, longtime leaders in the study, tied for first in overall satisfaction in 2019, according to J.D. Power, scoring 817 out of 1,000. JetBlue’s score was up five points from 2018, Southwest’s fell a point. Alaska Airlines came in third, with a score of 801, up 26 points from last year. Rounding out the top five: Delta (788) and American (764). American Airlines was the most improved in customer satisfaction from a year ago, jumping from 729 to 764.
Best Airlines 2019
- No. 1 (tie): Southwest: 817, down from 818
- No. 1 (tie): JetBlue: 817, up from 812
- No. 3: Alaska: 801, up from 775
- No. 4: Delta: 788, up from 767
- No. 5: American: 764, up from 729
- No. 6: WestJet: 758, up from 747
- No. 7: United: 723, up from 708
- No. 8: Air Canada, 729, down from 734
- No. 9: Spirit Airlines, 711, Spirit wasn’t included in 2018
- No. 10: Frontier: 702, up from 693