You'd probably not think so, to listen and read as passengers complain about fees, delays, lost bags and tight seats, but overall, a JD Power survey says, we're happier than we've been in ten years.
The study by the research company, a division of McGraw Hill Financial, points out that airlines have improved their on-time records, reduced lost luggage numbers, invested in new planes with more entertainment and have even restored pretzels and peanuts, all factors that likely affect customer satisfaction.
Cost plays a role, too. Satisfaction has been trending up for a while, but the lower-to-steady fares of the past couple of years as oil prices dropped have helped, and—it appears—we have become resigned to some degree to being nickeled-and-dimed on fees.
Other interesting notes from the study:
- Business travelers are happier than leisure passengers (could that be because they're more likely to be sitting upfront and not paying for the ticket?)
- Most-satisfying low-cost airlines: JetBlue, followed by Southwest. But the gap between them is narrowing.
- Most-satisfying "legacy" carriers: Alaska, for the 9th year in a row. Delta is at #2.
- Social media has become the main means of feedback to airlines, and surprisingly, most of it is positive, especially when the airline responds.
For more details from JD Power, click HERE