Airline Customer Satisfaction Rankings Tanking, Again

Airline passengers all over the country are giving the middle finger to big carriers like United and American, while (sort-of) praising Alaska Airlines and JetBlue. The results are in for the airline satisfaction ratings, and it seems, no one is very happy about the fees and other incremental costs airlines dished out recently. This year marks the fourth straight annual decline in such ratings. “Twenty-nine percent of overall satisfaction is driven by pricing and costing,” said Paula Sonkin, vice president for travel and real estate industries for J.D. Power and Associates, which released the report. “Given the economy and the fact that 29% is the cost and all the fees … it’s not surprising that satisfaction went down again.”

Based on their 1000-point scale, Alaska Airlines came in at 671 to be the highest-ranked traditional carrier, with Continental trailing at 669. If that were a traditional grading scale, they’d be making a D+. JetBlue fared better at a solid C with a score of 750, with Southwest and WestJet both coming in at a close 736. Rounding out the other end of the scale are sad sacks United (604) and US Airways (599). For low-cost airlines: Frontier (692) and AirTran (687) are picked last. Perhaps United is at the bottom due to moments like this, where flier/blogger Peter Greenberg got stuck in the SFO airport waiting for a flight to Shanghai for over five hours, only to walk onto a plane that was not clean and featured broken power outlets, and then was handed a mimeographed “apology” from United and instructions to fill out a form to receive a “certificate.” For what, he doesn’t know, but for now, he’s calling it a “certificate of failure.”

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