Airline satisfaction is at an all-time high, study finds

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Thursday, May 11, 2017
Airline satisfaction at an all-time high according to survey
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A JD Power survey, which has been conducted for the past 13 years, found that airline satisfaction has reached an all-time high.

A new study found that not only is airline satisfaction at an all-time high, but "bumping" is at a historic low.

The J.D. Power 2017 North America Airline Satisfaction Study used data from 11,015 passengers who flew between March 2016 and March 2017 using a major North American airline. It looked at these factors (in order of importance): cost and fees, in-flight services, aircraft, boarding/deplaning/baggage, flight crew, check-in, and reservation.

Overall satisfaction reached 75.6 percent (756 on a 1,000-point scale). Lower fares, better on-time performance, fewer lost bags, high flight crew satisfaction and the lowest bump rate in the study's 13-year history all contributed to the high rating.

The study comes after several high-profile public relations issues for airlines, such as the dragging of Dr. David Dao off of a United flight in early April.

Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power, said that, though the air travel industry still ranks lower than many other service industries like rental cars or hotels, airlines are getting better at making customers happy.

"It's impossible to think about airline customer satisfaction without replaying the recent images of a passenger being dragged from a seat," he said, "but our data shows that, as a whole, the airline industry has been making marked improvements in customer satisfaction across a variety of metrics, from ticket cost to flight crew."

Using their data, JD Power ranked both the traditional and low-cost North American airlines.

J.D. Power

J.D. Power