Southwest, JetBlue named best airlines in 2022 by customers

Southwest Airlines is the best airline in the country for economy and basic economy flights, according to a new JD power survey of more than 7,000 travelers.

JetBlue Airways got top marks for premium economy, business and first class in the JD Power 2022 North America Airline Satisfaction Study and also scored well for economy and basic economy fares.

Overall customer satisfaction across airlines dipped a bit from last year’s record high, but that’s to be expected as more people return to travel, said Mike Taylor, JD Power’s managing director for travel, hospitality and retail.

“When you get an aircraft that’s half to a third full, you think this is a great experience, but you can’t maintain an industry flying planes around that are only one-third of capacity,” he said. “There’s been a greater demand, which means higher prices, less satisfaction and also that middle seat is more likely to be filled than it was a year-and-a-half, two years ago. And that, of course, kind of diminishes satisfaction among airline travelers. “

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Southwest Airlines aircrafts are seen at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on December 22, 2021.

This year’s study found average airfares jumped 20% year-over-year as fuel prices rose. Taylor says cost and perceived value traditionally weigh heavy in customer satisfaction.

Cost and fees are just one factor. Airline customers also score airlines based on satisfaction with aircraft, baggage, boarding, check-in, flight crew, in-flight services and reservation experience.

Airline disruptions, like cancellations, were not taken into consideration.

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