North American airlines improved their scores in the annual J.D. Power 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction Study for the seventh straight year and are doing a better job than ever of keeping travellers happy, according to Michael Taylor, head of the travel practice at JD Power.
“With a single exception, airlines in North America show consistent improvements across all the factors, from booking a ticket to handling luggage,” said Taylor in releasing the survey.
“Operationally, it’s never been a better time to fly. 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.”
Overall passenger satisfaction with airlines in the US and Canada rose six points between 2017 and 2018, reaching an all-time high score of 762 on J.D. Powers’ 1,000-point scale.
“The exception is in the in-flight services factor, which includes food, beverage and entertainment systems,” Taylor said. “Today’s passengers expect trouble-free connectivity for personal devices and airlines are challenged to keep pace with the technology that can achieve that goal.”
The top-ranked individual airline was Southwest Airlines with 818 points, followed by Jet Blue (812 points), Alaska Airlines (775 points), and Delta Air Lines (767 points). Allegiant experienced the greatest growth in customer-satisfaction scores, rising 58 points between 2017 and 2018, to 725 points overall.
Industry-wide scores were boosted by a 15-point improvement in customer satisfaction with aircraft; an increase of 11 points in satisfaction with reservations; a ten-point rise in satisfaction with the boarding, deplaning, and baggage experience; an an 8-point-higher score on costs and fees.