From check-in to arrival times, survey finds airline satisfaction is improving
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 12, 2018 7:23PM PDT
Air travel can be convenient, but it can also come with frustrations. There are delays and cancellations and even lost luggage. But a new survey finds despite all that, customer satisfaction is improving.
From check-in, to arrival times, to lost bags, for the seventh year in a row a survey done by research firm J.D. Power found customers are more satisfied with virtually every aspect of airline travel.
"I always fly either Air Canada or West Jet and they're great," said one airline passenger at Toronto’s Pearson airport.
"I think it's getting better," agreed another.
The exception was in flight services, like food, drinks and entertainment systems, incluidng Wi-Fi.
"The connectivitiy, there seems to be a little bit of a rise in expectations from the public about being connected effortlessly and seamlessly,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power.
So where did the airlines rank? Alaska Airlines (775 points) came out on top for the 11th straight year, followed closely by Delta (767 points). Air Canada (734 points) improved in the rankings, but still fell below the average (741 points).
For low cost carriers, Southwest Airlines (818 points) and JetBlue (812 points) took the top spots. WestJet (747 points) improved, but again came in below average (799 points).
Still, some passengers aren't convinced by the high flying results.
"Seats are smaller, they charge for everything," said one frequent flyer.
"You feel like the leg room and service has gone down," said another.
Air Canada was among the most improved airlines, expanding its fleet and its low cost Rouge network.
“They've brought in quite a few new 737 max planes, and passengers seem to like those planes quite a bit,” explained Taylor.
WestJet is also adding planes and has created the new lower cost carrier Swoop, which will begin flying later this month.
It gives travellers more options, but the bottom line: "There is always room for improvement with anything," joked a frequent flyer.