Budget Airlines Bookend the Top 10 Airlines In North America


2018 airline ranking

Budget Airlines Bookend the Top 10 Airlines In North America

J.D. Power released today its annual North America Airline Customer Satisfaction survey. The North America Airline Satisfaction Study, now in its 14th year, measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers in North America based on performance in seven factors (in order of importance): cost & fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation.

The study measures passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travelers, and is based on responses from 11,508 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2017 and March 2018. The study was fielded between April 2017 and March 2018.

Survey Results

The survey continued a seven year trend of improved customer satisfaction. Overall passenger satisfaction with airlines improves to 762 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2018, a record high. The only factor that didn’t see an increase was in-flight services, which includes food, beverage and entertainment systems.

Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranks highest for the 11th consecutive year, with a score of 775. Alaska Airlines performs particularly well in all seven factors of the study, with a great deal of improvement coming from investments in new overhead bins that fit roll-aboard bags better than traditional bins. Delta Air Lines (767) ranks second.

Among low-cost carriers, Southwest Airlines ranks highest for the second consecutive year, with a score of 818. Southwest Airlines performs particularly well in all seven factors, driven in large part by investments made in fleet improvements. JetBlue Airways (812) ranks second.

The carriers showing the most improvement in overall customer satisfaction from last year are Allegiant, which increases 58 points to 725, and Air Canada, which increases 25 points to 734.

And when it comes to the lowest ranked airlines, United took the last spot among traditional carriers with a score of 708. The overall worst airline was Frontier with a score of 693.

Read press release here.

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  1. How are Southwest and JetBlue “low cost” carriers? Their employees don’t work at discount rates and their tickets are priced the same as everyone else?


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