The study found that satisfaction with people factors, including knowledge, courtesy and helpfulness of gate agents was very important to fliers.
The decrease is airline customer service satisfaction is more than twice as large as the decline in satisfaction with the price jump.
The survey was taken before a few airlines started charging for checking bags.
Jet Blue ranked number 1 for the fourth consecutive year in customer satisfaction.
Continental and Alaska Airlines tied for the highest ranking in the traditional network carrier segment, performing well in five of seven areas including aircraft, boarding and deplaning and flight crews.
Despite the survey, some passengers at Los Angeles Airport said they've had relatively good experiences.
"With the price of gas, it's still cheaper to fly, and I don't fly all that often -- two, three times a year ? but I find everyone to be very helpful, and I've had good experiences in the past probably 10 years of flying, so I don't see a big difference," said airline passenger Marty Casarelli.