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J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing information services company, published its 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study last week, revealing that for the first time in 3 years, customer satisfaction with North American airlines has actually increased. Yes, this may come as a surprise given the seemingly constant complaints from passengers about extra fees, poor service, and airport delays, but it seems to us that travelers have finally had time to come to terms with the barrage of new á la carte fees introduced back in 2008, and are even learning to appreciate their benefits (namely, less lost and delayed luggage due to fewer checked bags, and the lower bottom line on airfare ticket costs thanks to “unbundled” fare pricing).

Some highlights from the study:

•    In the traditional carrier category, Alaska Airlines was ranked the highest in overall satisfaction. US Airways was ranked the lowest.

•    Amongst low-cost carriers, JetBlue topped the satisfaction list, while Frontier Airlines rounded out its bottom.

•    The most desired amenity that the majority of airlines have recently nixed is free on-flight food.

Overall, there seems to be a clear connection between customer satisfaction and an airline’s demonstrated consideration for passengers’ time and money – but you Savvy Flyers didn’t need a survey to tell you that! 

Do you agree with the study’s findings? Are you more or less satisfied with airlines’ performance in 2010 as compared to last year?

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