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Customers think these are the best airlines, according to a J.D. Power report

JD Power says these are the airlines customers like best in 2024

Sun and clouds with airplane wing
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Air travel lets you cover thousands of miles in mere hours, opening the door to destinations far and wide. Sometimes, that can be a hectic experience, with crowded boarding lines and cramped overhead bins. Subpar service makes it even worse. When that happens, taking a flight is more a test of endurance than a comfortable ride, and you can’t wait to exit the plane. 

On a full flight, a gracious staff makes all the difference, ready to lend a hand and ensure you have what you need. Some airlines do that better than others. 

Recently, trusted consumer research firm JD Power conducted a study that gauged airline passenger satisfaction in North America. The results show how investing in people goes a long way. Here are the results.

All about the JD Power 2024 North America Airline Satisfaction Study

Seats inside an airplane
Al Soot / Unsplash

When it comes to consumer research, JD Power leads the way in thorough, dependable data. The firm analyzes customer satisfaction across multiple industries, like automotive, travel & hospitality, and insurance. Study results help guide consumers in making the best decisions. The company’s 2024 North American Airline Satisfaction Study provides info for a better air travel experience. 

The survey occurred between March 2023 and March 2024, with 9,582 passengers responding. Each needed to have flown on a North American airline in the prior month. 

Customers rated airlines on a 6-point scale across seven categories, including (alphabetically):

  • Airline staff
  • Digital tools
  • Ease of travel
  • Level of trust
  • On-board experience
  • Pre/post-flight experience
  • Value for price paid

Further, the study tabulated traveler satisfaction across three seating classes: 

  • First/business
  • Premium economy
  • Economy/basic economy

The best airlines for an easy, comfortable trip

Delta Airlines airplane flying
Daniel Shapiro via Unsplash

JD Power found the areas that matter most to passengers across three seating classes. The results show how investing in people gives customers a better experience at 30,000 feet.

Key takeaways from the study were customers’ focus on ease of travel, media coverage, and interpersonal interactions. More than anything, fliers value trust and ease of travel, despite ticket prices remaining high. Next, negative media coverage can drastically affect the perception of an airline. Lastly, airlines that invest in people — like Southwest and Delta — score much higher in areas involving passenger interactions.

In the first/business segment, Delta won with a score of 743. Jet Blue was second, with a tally of 736.

Premium economy travelers again ranked Delta first, with 716 points. Next were Alaska Airlines (687) and American Airlines (684).

For the third year in a row, Southwest won the economy/basic economy segment, scoring 685 points. Second and third were Delta Airlines (651) and Allegiant Air (633). 

Air travel is indispensable to get where you need to go. You can travel from the west coast to the east coast in hours, not days, saving time and energy. But an airplane can be a tense environment, especially with moody passengers or inattentive service. JD Power’s new study shows how people make all the difference, with customer-oriented staff easing the strain of hours on a plane. So, when you want an easy flight, with people who care, the winners in this survey are the way to go. 

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Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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