Customer satisfaction with US airlines has surged over the past year to what JD Power has called a “new high” as the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a drop in booked flights and has forced airlines to stop charging change fees.
The improved quality of service from the flight crews also did not escape the attention of passengers, Jd power found in his annual airline satisfaction survey in North America.
The study interviewed 2,309 people between August 2020 and March 2021. The respondents were required to fly on a North American airline a month prior to their interrogation.
Overall, airline customer satisfaction has grown 27 points from 2020 on the JD Power 1,000-point scale to 819.
Customer satisfaction with crews increased by 26 points as flight attendants and pilots were tasked with explaining the safety and health measures related to Covid-19 to passengers. The elimination of change fees by airlines led to an even larger increase in customer satisfaction by 47 points, the study found.
Empty middle seats, masks and other safety measures have helped all airlines receive high customer ratings for their response to Covid-19.
The satisfaction improvements found by JD Power reflect the reports of various carriers throughout the pandemic that they received their best Net Promoter Scores in history.
Among the seven airlines that JD Power included in its study, Delta scored 860 points, overtaking Southwest and JetBlue. who had the best and second best resultsrespectively, in 2020. Delta topped the rankings for the first time since 1995.
“They’ve done a great job from a human perspective,” said Michael Taylor, head of travel intelligence at JD Power, who noted that the carrier’s flight crew rating is 11 points higher than any other airline.
Delta also kept the middle seats locked throughout the JD Power study, which no other carrier has done.
Southwest came in second this year with 856 points. This is followed by Alaska (850 points), JetBlue (849 points), United (810 points), American (791 points) and Air Canada (759 points).