According to a J.D. Power research shared with Travel + Leisure, Southwest Airlines received the highest customer satisfaction ratings for economy and basic economy for the second consecutive year. This is despite the company’s holiday season collapse, which resulted in the cancellation of thousands of flights and the stranding of countless customers.
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue came in at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, on the list for economy, after Southwest.
JetBlue really won the competition for first and business class, ahead of Delta and United Airlines. In terms of consumer satisfaction, Delta’s premium economy segment placed first.
Despite the performance of the airlines, North American passenger satisfaction is down 7 points from the previous year, scoring 791 out of 1,000. It is part of a bigger trend of declining passenger satisfaction and the second year in a row that it has decreased. This unhappiness is mostly related to rising charges and levies.
According to Michael Taylor, travel intelligence head at J.D. Power, “from the customer perspective… planes are crowded, tickets are expensive, and flight availability is constrained.” Although the market for leisure travel has not yet been affected by these problems, if this pattern continues, consumers may hit a breaking point and some airline brands may suffer.
The research, which was based on a poll conducted between March 2022 and March 2023, looked at everything from the aircraft used to airline baggage, boarding, check-in, cost, and tax policies, to the flight crew and in-flight amenities and bookings.
The airline industry is preparing for a busy summer as the satisfaction scores are released. For instance, Delta stated last month that its summertime overseas flights were already 75 percent booked. Additionally, it is anticipated that international airfare will grow to a 5-year high, with the rise being ascribed to a combination of poor supply, expensive fuel, and high demand.