J.D. Power 2015 North America Airlines Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power released yesterday its 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study that measures the customer satisfaction of legacy and low-cost carriers.

J.D. Power 2015 North America Airlines Satisfaction Study

The study is based on 11,354 passengers that flew with the airlines between March 2014 and March 2015.

You can access J.D. Power’s website for this announcement here.

Here the key findings per J.D. Power:

  • Overall passenger satisfaction with major North America airlines increases to 717 in 2015, up from 712 in 2014. The most notable drivers of the overall increase are satisfaction with flight crew (+9 points), in-flight services (+6) and costs and fees (+4).
  • Overall passenger satisfaction with traditional carriers improves to 691 in 2015 from 683 in 2014, while overall satisfaction with low-cost carriers is 766 in 2015, up from 763 in 2014.
  • Among generational groups,[1] satisfaction is highest among Gen Y (727) and Pre-Boomer (725) passengers. Satisfaction is lowest among Boomer (714) and Gen X (719) passengers.
  • Among the two-thirds of passengers who check baggage for their flight, 52 percent indicate they had to wait 15 minutes or longer to receive their baggage, among whom satisfaction is 711, compared with 751 among those who experience a shorter wait time.
  • Satisfaction among passengers who pay for checked baggage has improved steadily during the past five years to 700 in 2015 from 637 in 2011.
  • Overall satisfaction among passengers who hold status in an airline loyalty/rewards program is 737, compared with 724 among those with a general airline loyalty/rewards program membership and 696 among passengers with no membership at all.

Traditional Carrier Rankings

J.D. Power 2015 North America Airlines Satisfaction Study Traditional Carrier Ranking

I am actually surprised that the Air Canada has ranked lower than Delta or American. Not really a surprise that United is at the bottom (yet again).

Low-Cost Carrier Rankings

J.D. Power 2015 North America Airlines Satisfaction Study Low Cost Carrier

Here’s the problem that I have with this study. I don’t consider JetBlue or Southwest to be low-cost carriers anymore. Also the true low cost ones such as Spirit or Allegiant are both not rated at all.

Here’s the full release by J.D. Power:

Download (PDF, 698KB)


Why do they still distinguish between the “legacies” and the “low cost carriers”? One could argue that Southwest and JetBlue (where’s Virgin America anyway?) would definitely belong to the “Traditional Carrier” column, as both are established airlines and definitely not “Low Cost Carriers”

Spirit and Allegiant, etc. would be better fit for the latter but are both excluded.

One of the findings were that passengers that didn’t choose the airline based on the lowest price were happier overall compared to those that did. Also, loyalty program members were lot happier (regardless whether they had status or not) than those who weren’t collecting miles/points.