Alaska Airlines earned the top ranking for customer satisfaction in 2019 among traditional carriers for the 12th year running, according to the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study.
Alaska notched a score of 801 on J.D. Power’s 1,000-point scale, the highest mark the airline has ever achieved on the study and the first time its score was higher than 800. Delta Air Lines ranked second in the study, with a score of 788, followed by American Airlines, with a score of 764.
Air Canada and United Airlines ranked fourth and fifth among traditional carriers, with scores of 729 and 723, respectively. Among low-cost carriers, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines tied for the top spot, with an identical score of 817, followed by WestJet (758), Spirit Airlines (711) and Frontier Airlines (702).
“All 22,000 of us at Alaska take tremendous pride in J.D. Power,” says Alaska Airlines Chief Executive Officer Brad Tilden “Staying on top for a dozen years is a stunning accomplishment for our fantastic people, especially during a time of significant change as we brought two airlines together [referring to Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America].”
“New technology investments have dramatically improved the reservation and check-in process,” the J.D. Power notes. “Fleets are newer, and travelers generally feel that they are getting great value for their money. These improvements have been most profound in the traditional carrier segment, where customer satisfaction has climbed considerably.”
Overall, customer satisfaction levels with airlines reached its highest point in the history of the J.D. Power study, up 11 points from a record-setting performance in 2018.
“While low-cost carriers have historically had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our study, due to a strong sense of value for money among customers, that line is starting to blur as traditional carriers improve their services and operations,” says Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power Taylor added. “The one area where both traditional and low-cost carriers can still improve, however, is in in-flight services. 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.”