The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


June 13, 2012

Fliers less satisfied with airlines in 2012, J.D. Power says

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Fliers were less satisfied with airlines in 2012, following two years of consecutive improvement, according to a national consumer study.

On a 1,000-point scale, passenger satisfaction fell 2 points to an average of 681, the J.D. Power and Associates survey revealed Wednesday.

The survey measured leisure and business travelers’ satisfaction based on seven factors: cost and fees; in-flight services; boarding, deplaning and baggage handling; flight crew; aircraft; check-in and reservation.

Passenger satisfaction with low-cost carriers crept up 3 points to 754, while satisfaction with traditional carriers slipped 4 points to 647.

“The airline industry is caught between trying to satisfy customers who demand low prices, high-quality service and comfort, and contending with the economic reality of profitably operating an airline,” said Stuart Greif, a J.D. Power vice president.

JetBlue Airways scored the highest marks among low-cost carriers reviewed, performing well on in-flight services and aircraft factors. Southwest was second, gaining points for cost and fees, boarding/deplaning/baggage, check-in and reservation.

Alaska Airlines was No. 1 among traditional carriers with 678 points, followed by Air Canada.

Delta scored 659 points after enhancements to the passenger experience, moving it to third place among traditional carriers from fifth last year. Improvements included expanding in-flight Wi-Fi service and adding charging stations at gates at key airports, the study noted.

Continental and American rounded out the top five, and US Airways ranked at the bottom as in 2011.


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