The Best and Worst North American Airlines of 2010

Flying nowadays is not the easy experience it used to be but the 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates indicates that there are several airlines who have made their customers happy. In fact customer satisfaction has reached a three year high.

Part of what contributed to customer satisfaction may have to do with the bad economy. There are fewer people flying so there are more seats and the fares are cheaper; airlines have been increasing demand by offering lower fares. The report also shows that passengers have become more accepting of fees and have adjusted their expectations.

J.D. Power and Associates sampled 12,300 passengers and asked them to rank the airlines according to seven categories: flight crew, in-flight services, aircraft, board/deplaning/baggage, costs and fees, check-in, and reservation. In addition, the study recognized that there are two different segments of air carrier: Traditional Network and Low-cost. Traditional Network carriers are airlines that have multi-cabin aircraft and operate out of several hubs; they have a coach class, a first class and sometimes a business class. Low-cost carriers operate single cabin aircraft and offer low fares.

Which is the Best Airline According to Passengers?

Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways

The Worst Airlines are...

US Airways and Frontier Airlines

Traditional Airlines Ranked According to Overall Satisfaction

1. Alaska Airlines tops the list; performed best in six of the seven categories

2. Continental

3. American

4. Delta

5. Air Canada

6. United

7. US Airways came in last


Which Do You Prefer?

  • Finer Airline Service at Higher Prices
  • Functional Airline Service at Cheaper Prices
See results without voting

Low-Cost Carriers Ranked According to Overall Satisfaction

1. JetBlue Airways tops the list and performed best in two out of the seven measures

2. Southwest Airlines

3. WestJet

4. AirTran Airways

5. Frontier Airlines came in last

The study also notes that more than half of all passengers in the traditional airline category and the low-cost carrier category, wanted to be served a complimentary meal during their flight. Given that the airlines are seeing a rise in the price of fuel, that is one request that passengers will surely not get anytime soon.

One category that the report did not cover is if you are involuntarily denied boarding -- meaning that you were bumped off the flight. According to the Department of Transporation, involuntarily denied boarding rates increased by 17% in the first quarter as compared over the same period in 2009. It's happening more frequently because the airline industry has reduced capacity in anticipation of lower demand for air travel. The worst offenders for bumping passengers off flights were American Eagle (a subsidiary of American Airlines), US Airways, and Continental.

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Comments 2 comments

kellen 4 years ago

i think that airlines should be judged on the service. i know tons about commercial planes, and the little crj's are small and have no entertainment but reading they should be used for : short routes. but i find that united are partly using them for longer flights ( denver to phoenix) i love united but i like bigger jets vs small. and the more entertaining the less crying kids onboard

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Passengers do prefer the bigger jets and onboard entertainment, unfortunately a lot of these decisions are dependent on the airline's profitability on the routes they serve.

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