Credit Card News

Advertising Disclosure is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Travel » Airline Customer Satisfaction at Seven-Year High

Airline Customer Satisfaction at Seven-Year High

Add to Favorites:

People may grumble about baggage fees, flight delays, and lack of legroom, but according to the latest customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power & Associates, they are happier with the airline industry’s overall performance than they’ve been in years.

The latest passenger satisfaction ratings are the highest since 2006. People have accepted baggage fees and they like avoiding lines by checking in online and printing boarding passes. They also appreciate Wi-Fi on their flights.

Low-cost carriers deliver more satisfaction

The 2013 North America Airline Satisfaction Survey ranked airlines in two categories: traditional and low-cost carriers. Overall passenger satisfaction rose 14 points from 2012 to an average rating of 695 out of a possible 1,000. Low-cost carriers outperformed traditional carriers. The bargain airlines scored 755 as a group and traditional airlines hit a mark of 663.

How they scored

Low-cost carriers:

Traditional carriers:

Online check-in and a smile on board make a difference

Over a third of travelers surveyed (36%) take advantage of online check-in when getting ready for a flight, up from 34% in 2012. And those passengers that avoided ticket counters and lines were happier. People who checked in for flights online scored their happiness with the check-in process at 837, compared with 805 for those who checked in at an airport kiosk, and 801 for those who went to the counter.

A friendly attitude from airline staff and flight crews made a difference as well. Folks who reported being greeted with a smile occasionally scored the carriers 105 points higher than those who didn’t. Passengers who got consistent smiles from cabin crews scored the carriers even higher — 211 points more than respondents who didn’t get a warm welcome.

Baggage fees still rankle, but not as much

Although people are still disgruntled about baggage check fees, they appear to be getting used to it. The gap in satisfaction between passengers who paid to check bags and those who didn’t is growing smaller. In 2011, paying for bag check dropped satisfaction rates by 100 points. In 2012, the gap narrowed to 85 points, and this year it’s down to a 63 point difference. When asked whether baggage fees are reasonable, 37% said they felt they were – compared to 28% last year and 18% in 2011.

One way customers can avoid baggage fees is to sign up for aco-branded airline credit card like the , which lets cardholders check their first bag for free on any American Airlines flight. Many other airline credit cards offer this perk too, as well as discounts on food and beverage service, access to airport VIP lounges, and other satisfaction-boosting benefits.

Add to Favorites:

Related News:

AAdvantage Members Rewarded for Tornado Relief Donations
AAdvantage Members Rewarded for Tornado Relief Donations

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: May 23, 2013

American Airlines is giving members of their frequent flyer program an incentive to help victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma. When AA members donate $50 or $100 to the American Red Cross, they will get a bonus of five miles per dollar. Continue reading
American Airlines Codeshare Agreement Opens Up Caribbean Routes
American Airlines Codeshare Agreement Opens Up Caribbean Routes

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: July 01, 2013

American Airlines has added six new Caribbean destinations for travelers departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of its partnership with St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines. Continue reading
Qatar Airways is the Newest American AAdvantage Partner
Qatar Airways is the Newest American AAdvantage Partner

By Dar Dowling, Posted: September 25, 2013

American Airlines and Qatar Airways inked a deal this week expanding their frequent flyer programs. Under the new agreement, American Airlines AAdvantage and Qatar Privilege Club members can now earn or redeem miles when they book a flight... Continue reading
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 20,000 Miles, you get 40,000 Miles. We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
For Excellent, Good Credit
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
For Excellent Credit
Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
For Excellent Credit