- JD Power released its 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study on Wednesday. The 15th edition of the study found consumer satisfaction to be at an all-time high.
- Airlines continue to struggle with in-flight entertainment, connectivity, and dining.
- Southwest and JetBlue tied with the highest score overall and among low-cost airlines.
- Alaska Airlines once again finished with the highest score for a traditional airline.
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JD Power released its 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study on Wednesday. The 15th edition of the study found consumer satisfaction to be at an all-time high.
Over the past year, airlines in the US and Canada scored an average of 773 points on a 1,000-point scale, beating last year’s record-setting score by 11 points.
According to JD Power, the increase in customer satisfaction has been driven by airlines’ investments in reservation and check-in technology along with an infusion of new aircraft.
“Airlines continue to deliver on the operational side of air travel,” Michael Taylor, the travel intelligence lead at JD Power, said in a statement. “New technology investments have dramatically improved the reservation and check-in process. Fleets are newer and travelers generally feel that they are getting great value for their money.”
Read more: The 20 biggest airlines in the world, ranked
Seatback entertainment, food service, and WiFi remain the lowest-ranked parts of the flying experience.
“The one area where both traditional and low-cost carriers can still improve, however, is in in-flight services,” Taylor said. “It continues to be the lowest-ranked factor in the study, as many airlines still struggle with in-flight entertainment, connectivity, in-seat power, and food service.”
For the third consecutive year, Southwest was the highest scoring airline in the study and among low-cost airlines. This year, it tied with its fellow low-cost carrier JetBlue with 817 points.
With 801 points, Alaska Airlines once again earned the highest score for a traditional airline. It has now earned that distinction in 12 straight years.
Airlines in the study are judged on performance in seven categories. In order of importance, they are cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding, deplaning, and baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservations.
The JD Power study is based on data gathered from 5,966 business and leisure passengers who flew on major US and Canadian airlines from April 2018 through March 2019. Several notable airlines such as Hawaiian, Allegiant, and Air Transat were not included in the study.
Here is a closer look at how the US airlines performed on the JD Power 2019 North America Airlines Satisfaction Study.
8. Frontier Airlines: 702 points
7. Spirit Airlines: 711 points
6. United Airlines: 723 points
- David McNew/Getty Images
5. American Airlines: 764 points
4. Delta Air Lines: 788 points
3. Alaska Airlines: 801 points
- Alaska Airlines
1. Southwest Airlines: 817 points (tie)
1. JetBlue: 817 points (tie)