J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North American Airline Satisfaction Study
The 2007 North American Airline Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates is in and JetBlue and Continental Airlines top the lists.
Despite the fiascoes of this winter, JetBlue Airways again ranks highest among low-cost airline carriers, while Continental Airlines ranks highest among traditional network carriers (is that code for expensive?), according to the study.
This study measures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in seven measures (in order of importance):
- cost and fees
- flight crew
- in-flight services
- check-in and reservation
JetBlue ranks highest overall for a third consecutive year, earning the highest ranking for low-cost carriers in 2006 and 2007. Low-cost carriers are defined as airlines that operate single-cabin aircraft with typically low fares. JetBlue also earns particularly high ratings in the low-cost carrier segment across all seven customer satisfaction measures, despite a double-digit segment decline in overall satisfaction since 2006. JetBlue achieves an overall satisfaction index score of 810 of a possible 1,000 points and is followed in the rankings by Frontier Airlines (750) and Southwest Airlines (744). So that must mean the other low cost carriers are doing something really badly.
Continental Airlines, which ranks highest for a second consecutive year in the traditional network carrier segment, earns an overall satisfaction index score of 704, and improves in six measures: reservations, check-in, boarding/deplaning/baggage, aircraft, flight crew, and cost and fees. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines follow in the rankings with index scores of 680 and 670, respectively. Traditional network carriers are defined as airlines that operate multicabin aircraft and use multiple airport hubs.
Not surprisingly, the study finds passengers in different age groups define “must-have” amenities differently. Everyone wants complimentary meals and in-flight movies, but higher percentages of younger passengers express a desire for high-tech amenities. Among Generation X passengers (those born between 1965 and 1976), 54% say they would like to have in-seat satellite or live TV, while Generation Y passengers (born between 1977 and 1994) are seven times more likely to want in-flight video games than are Pre-Boomers (born in 1945 and earlier). As a Gen Y, I can tell you I’ve played a few games during flight. But I particularly like the trivia where you compete with other passengers. What can I say…I’m a little competitive.
The 2007 North America Airline Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction of both business and leisure travelers with major North American carriers that earn at least $1 billion a year in passenger revenue, based on Department of Transportation statistics. The study is based on responses from 9,653 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between April 2006 and April 2007.