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These Are The Best Airlines In The U.S. Right Now, According To A New Study 

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Well-known data analytics company J.D. Power has released its annual North American Airline Customer Satisfaction Survey, helping to determine which airlines in the U.S. customers are the happiest with and which ones leave room for improvement. 

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The highly regarded annual study takes into account customer satisfaction among the major North American carriers, factoring in everything from customer experience while making their reservation to claiming their luggage. 

The data is collected among cabin classes, and results are divided into the following three groups: First/Business class, Premium Economy, and Economy/Basic.

Served Lunch in Aircraft

Customer satisfaction is measured across the following factors:

  • Reservation 
  • Check-In
  • Boarding 
  • Baggage
  • Aircraft
  • Flight Crew
  • In-Flight Services 
  • Costs and Fees 

This report is one that is continuously measured year-round, and in the future, will be expanded to include additional factors such as connectivity, in-flight entertainment, food and beverage, airline lounges, amenities, and an increased look at boarding and baggage procedures. 

It’s important to mention that while many reports rank airlines around the world based on factors such as on-time performance, cancellations, and other quantitative data, this report from J.D. Power is the only one to provide a comprehensive overview of actual customer satisfaction. 

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One major takeaway from J.D. Power’s report is that overall customer satisfaction is down from last year, scoring 791 points out of a possible 1000. The 7-point drop would indicate that consumers are fed up with many things in the airline industry, the most likely culprit being an increase in costs and fees.

It’s not all bad news, though. A highlight from the study has revealed that airline passengers are happy about one thing, their flight crews. The study reported an increase in flight crew scores, which was a bit surprising, as this factor tends to go down when overall satisfaction drops.

Anyone who has flown in recent years understands that these flight crews deal with a lot, and for them to keep smiling and making customers safe and happy truly deserves some kudos. 

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According To J.D. Power’s Recent Study, Here Are The Best Airlines In The U.S. Right Now: 

First/Business Class

Winner: JetBlue Airways 

With a score of 893 out of a possible 1000, JetBlue is winning people over with its Mint business-class product. And with an ever-expanding schedule to destinations both domestic and abroad, those long-haul flights seem a lot more bearable with more legroom and more amenities.

While JetBlue doesn’t technically offer a business-class product, Mint seeks to answer the needs of travelers who are looking for these increased amenities at a slightly lower cost than some other major carriers.

With premium food options, lie-flat seats, and other benefits such as priory boarding, the JetBlue Mint product seems to be striking a sweet spot for travelers. 

Second Place: Delta Air Lines 

Third Place: United Airlines 

JetBlue Plane

Premium Economy

Winner: Delta

Ever since launching its free WiFi for sky mile members on selected flights, it seems Delta has been on the up and up with consumers. 

Scoring 848 points out of a possible 1000, the company’s recent attempts to grow its premium economy class seem to be working, with this product being their answer to customers looking for a middle ground between business class and economy.

The increase in legroom and free drinks appear to be worth the slightly higher price tag than the economy experience for many. 

Second Place: JetBlue 

Third Place: Alaska Airlines

The underbelly of a plane with the Delta logo.

Economy/ Basic Economy

Winner: Southwest

With a score of 827 out of a possible 1000, Southwest takes this category easily. After recently announcing they are adding some features that customers have been requesting for a while, it’s no surprise to see Southwest ranking high for their economy class.

With their planes soon kitted out with USB ports, larger overhead bins, and the unique economy open seating policy, Southwest appears to have found its niche with its economy and basic economy product.

Those low fares don't hurt their customer satisfaction rating either. 

Second Place: Delta 

Third Place: JetBlue 

southwest-plane-flying-in-clouds

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.