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Air passenger satisfaction highest in 5 years - survey

May 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Baggage fees, delays and canceled flights can all make flying a headache. But there are some good things when it comes to air travel, at least according to a new satisfaction survey.

The survey, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, states that passenger satisfaction is actually the highest it's been in more than five years. This is consistent with satisfaction levels before a variety of fees came into place.

Even though baggage fees continue to be a source of passenger dissatisfaction, the impact is less pronounced than in the past. This likely means people have simply grown used to the fees.

The boarding and deplaning category saw the largest improvement in customer satisfaction, based on the survey.

As for which airlines scored most points with passengers, low-cost carriers continued to come out on top. Jet Blue Airways ranked No. 1 for the eighth consecutive year. Southwest Airlines followed at No. 2 and WestJet Airlines took the third spot. AirTran Airways scored last on the list.

Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranked highest for the sixth straight year, followed by Delta Air Lines and Air Canada. US Airways, which came in last on that list, collected more than $6 billion in baggage and reservation change fees from passengers just last year. This is the highest amount since fees became common five years ago because of high fuel costs.

The survey was conducted over the last year and was based on 11,000 passengers who flew on a major North American airline.


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