Americans have begun to travel again as the effects of COVID-19 have become less dangerous. Some people continue to wear masks and take other precautions. However, air travel and cruise line reservations are back to pre-pandemic levels. When traveling gets crowded, customer service is at a premium. The ease with which people can navigate planes, trains and automobiles takes on extra importance.
Air travel, in particular, can be difficult. Problems run from flights that leave late, crowded planes, reservation systems that are hard to navigate to apps that do not work well. Violence among passengers has become an issue as well.
J.D. Power looks at customer satisfaction across several industries, though it is best known for its car research. Among its most recent studies is North American Airline Passenger Satisfaction. It is based on 7,004 responses collected from March 2021 to March 2022. The study measured “aircraft; baggage; boarding; check-in; cost and fees; flight crew; in-flight services; and reservation.” Each measure was made across three types of service: first/business class, premium economy and regular economy.
Customer satisfaction was hurt for several reasons. Impressions of flight crews, prices and aircraft all dropped.
JetBlue Airways finished at the top of the lists for both first/business and premium economy. It scored 878 out of 1,000 for first/business class and 851 for premium economy. For economy service, Southwest scored first at 849, followed by JetBlue at 828.
Among all three classes, the airline that finished last was WestJet, which only got scores for economy service. Its rating was 751. This Calgary-based carrier provides service to over 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. WestJet also gets terrible reviews from Airline Ratings, a carefully followed airline satisfaction service.
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