Airline satisfaction of travelers decreases as planes fill up and fares rise: JD Power survey

Packaged planes and more expensive tickets have reduced customer satisfaction with airlines for the first time in a decade in the past year, according to a JD Power survey released Wednesday.

“Customer satisfaction with North American airlines has risen to unprecedented levels for all the wrong reasons in the past couple of years,” said Michael Taylor, head of travel intelligence at JD Power, in the North American Airlines report. “Fewer passengers meant more space on the airplanes, fewer queues and more attention from flight attendants. But that business model just wasn’t sustainable.”

The demand for air travel has increased over the past year, along with fares, following a protracted pandemic crisis.

In March, US domestic airfares were 20% more than in 2019 as Covid cases declined and cities lifted pandemic restrictions on activities like indoor dining and concerts, according to Adobe Analytics. The rise in ticket prices has outstripped bookings, according to Adobe.

But customer satisfaction declined among travelers across all ticket classes – bus, premium economy, and first or business class – according to the survey, based on responses from 7,004 passengers from March 2021 to March 2022. It was the first year after that. – year down from the 2012 survey, Taylor said.

JetBlue Airways topped the ranking of first-class and business-class services among North American carriers, while Southwestern Airlines it came first in economics and basic economics.

Here’s how the vectors stacked up and their scores over 1,000: