Here are the 10 airlines people like and hate the most in North America
- J.D. Power's 2018 North American Airline Satisfaction Study found overall consumer satisfaction to be at an all-time high.
- Airlines did struggle with delivering high-quality in-flight connectivity.
- Southwest Airlines finished with highest score overall and the highest score for a low-cost airline.
- Alaska Airlines finished with the third highest score and the highest score for a traditional airline.
J.D. Power released its 2018 North American Airline Satisfaction Study on Wednesday. The study, now in its 14th year, found that overall consumer satisfaction with airlines is at an all-time high.
Over the past year, airlines scored 762 points out of a possible 1,000. That's an increase of six points over the previous year and continues a seven-year upward trend for airline passenger satisfaction.
"Operationally, it's never been a better time to fly," J.D. Power's travel practice lead, Michael Taylor said in a statement. "Passengers perceive greater value in ticket prices, checking in has never been easier, passengers are more satisfied with the actual aircraft and airlines have improved their baggage-handling performance."
However, airlines have struggled mightily in one particular area: in-flight services. More specifically, airlines have had a hard time delivering trouble-free connectivity for personal devices. According to Taylor, airlines simply can't keep pace with technology.
"This is important because passengers are far more likely to have a positive experience with an airline if they are entertained during their flight," Taylor added.
For 2018, Southwest Airlines finished with the highest overall score and the highest score for a low-cost airline with 818 points. It's the second year in a row that Southwest has finished first. JetBlue finished a close second place with 812 points.
While Alaska Airlines finished with the highest score for a traditional airline with 775 points. It's the 11th year, Alaska has taken the top spot in its segment.
According to J.D. Power, Southwest Airlines benefited greatly from its recent investments in new aircraft while Alaska's score received a bump for its more spacious overhead bins.
Overall customer satisfaction with low-cost airlines tended to be a bit higher than the traditional carriers. The average score for a low-cost carrier is 799 points while the traditional airlines received an average score of 741 points.
Airlines in the study are judged on its performance in seven major factors. In order of importance, they are cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding, deplaning, and baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservations.
The J.D. Power study is based on data gathered from 11,508 business and leisure passengers who flew on major US and Canadian airlines between March 2017 and March 2018. No Mexican or Central American airlines were included in the study. Spirit, Hawaiian, and Sun Country were not included in the study.
Here's a closer look at J.D. Power's 2018 Airlines Satisfaction Study.
10. Frontier Airlines: 693 points.
9. United Airlines: 708 points.
8. Allegiant Air: 725 points.
7. American Airlines: 729 points.
6. Air Canada: 734 points.
5. WestJet: 747 points.
4. Delta Air Lines: 767 points.
3. Alaska Airlines: 775 points.
2. JetBlue Airways: 812 points.
1. Southwest Airlines: 818 points.
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