Southwest earned the highest customer satisfaction among North American airlines, according to J.D. Power’s annual survey.

J.D. Power ranked customer satisfaction separately for flights of 800 miles or less, which it labeled “short-haul” and for flights of a longer distance, which it called “long-haul.”

Southwest scored highest in both categories. It was followed in the long-haul category by JetBlue and then Delta. Spirit brought up the rear, with Frontier getting the second-lowest marks.

In the short-haul category, Southwest was followed by JetBlue and then Alaska. Frontier got the lowest marks, immediately behind United.

The study measures passenger satisfaction based upon performance in eight categories: aircraft; baggage, boarding, check-in, cost and fees; flight crew; in-flight services; and the reservation process. 

The J.D. Power survey follows the release of the most recent Airline Quality Ranking -- which is conducted annually by Wichita State and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical universities. 

That report concluded that Allegiant was the top mainline U.S. airline performer in 2019, based upon a metric that accounts for consumer complaint incidences, mishandled-baggage rates, on-time arrival percentages and the frequency with which travelers were denied boarding. Hawaiian received the second highest marks, followed by Southwest. The bottom three were comprised of Spirit, United and in last, American. 

Allegiant and Hawaiian were not included in J.D. Power’s survey. J.D. Power surveyed 10,100 flyers and was conducted in March and April.

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