Business, Economics and Jobs

Low-cost airlines soar above network competitors, survey says


A new survey found that customer satisfaction with airlines has dropped. Low-cost carriers most popular with customers.


Stephen Chernin

A new survey shows airline popularity is dropping with increasing prices and decreasing services.

The J.D. Power and Associates survey had over 13000 passengers rank airlines on a 1000-point scale and found that the average score dropped from 683 to 681 this year.

The top-ranked airlines were JetBlue, Southwest and WestJet with Alaska as the most popular network carrier.

Airline rankings declined despite an improved performance in baggage handling, check-in times and flight scheduling by companies this year, said the Los Angeles Times.

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“The airline industry is caught between trying to satisfy customers who demand low prices, high-quality service and comfort, and contending with the economic challenges of profitably operating an airline,” said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power, reported CNN.

“Passengers want it all, but they are not necessarily willing to pay for it all.”

According to USA Today the survey was based on seven factors including ticket cost and fees; baggage handling; flight crew; reservations; check-in; airplane and boarding.

The survey found that low-cost carriers - JetBlue, Southwest, WestJet and AirTran -  fared much better than network carriers - American, Air Canada, United, Delta with an average score of 754 for the former and 647 for the latter.

Fees for checked baggage was the top complaint of customers.

The survey included both US and Canadian carriers.