Alaska Airlines, Southwest Ranks Highest in Airline Satisfaction

June 7, 2018 Updated: June 7, 2018

Overall passenger satisfaction with airlines has improved for the seventh consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

“With a single exception, airlines in North America show consistent improvements across all the factors, from booking a ticket to handling luggage,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power, in a press release. “Operationally, it’s never been a better time to fly.”

He adds that passengers are perceiving greater value in ticket prices, and that check-in has never been easier. Baggage-handling performance has also improved.

If there is a gap between expectations and reality, it is with in-flight services, including food, beverage, and entertainment systems. Keeping up with Wi-Fi technology, to enable connectivity for personal devices, remains an expensive challenge.

Among traditional airlines, Alaska Airlines ranks the highest for the 11th consecutive year; Delta comes in second. Among low-cost carriers, Southwest Airlines ranks highest for the second consecutive year, followed by JetBlue Airways.

The study, now in its 14th year, surveyed 11,508 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2017 and March 2018.