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Post Office Beats Airlines in Satisfaction Study

Post Office Beats Airlines in Satisfaction Study

How satisfied are travelers with the service provided by U.S. airlines?

Although they’re 3 percent more satisfied in 2013 than they were last year, airlines as a group still rank near the bottom of all industries, outscoring only subscription TV and Internet service providers.

With a 69 out of 100 satisfaction rating, the airlines were trounced by cellphone companies, the U.S. Post Office, and fast-food restaurants, among others.

That’s according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, an independent benchmarking service developed at the University of Michigan.

The findings were based on surveys completed by 70,000 consumers, and depict satisfaction levels with more than 230 companies in 43 industries.

For individual airlines, the satisfaction levels were as follows:

  • 1. JetBlue (83 points on a scale of 100)
  • 2. Southwest (81)
  • 3. Delta (68)
  • 4. American (65)
  • 5. US Airways (64)
  • 6. United (62)

What can the airlines do to better please their customers? These are the high and low points of travelers’ satisfaction:

  • Ease of check-in (82 points on a scale of 100)
  • Ease of booking (82)
  • Timeliness of arrival (81)
  • Flight crew (81)
  • Website (80)
  • Baggage handling (80)
  • Boarding (78)
  • Schedules (74)
  • Loyalty program (73)
  • Inflight services, including food and entertainment (68)
  • Seat comfort (63)

More comfortable seats would be a good place to start.

Reader Reality Check

Are the airlines being unfairly criticized, or do they deserve their bottom-of-the-pack ratings?

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  • LongTimeObserver

    You get what you pay for. Pay up, or face the Gulag.

  • Tim Groves

    What’s important to remember is that this survey was completed by flyers (and did anyone check they really had flown recently rather than just saying they had and are getting their opinions from cable news) rather than FREQUENT fliers.

    Like, I suspect, many loyalists of this site, I travel 2 or 3 times a month. Mostly domestic but half a dozen times a year to Europe. My employer will pay only coach fare. Therefore I care not a jot about “ease of booking process” or “website satisfaction”. What I care about is getting in Main Cabin Extra (or whatever the airlines equivalent is) so that I can open my laptop, frequent schedules (so that I can standby for an earlier flight when a meeting ends early) and priority at Security so that I don’t have to show up hours earlier.

    If I flew twice a year with 3 children in tow to visit Granny in Iowa I’m sure I would care more about how long the flight attendant took to bring me my 3 sprites, or the extra napkins when it gets thrown over my fellow passengers.

    As has been stated many times on this site, the only way to regular travel calm and security (short of buying First Class) is loyalty. The airlines are not stupid. Pick your main-line carrier and stick with it. Jetblue, Southwest and (in Europe), EasyJet and RyanAir will wave all their baubles at you, but try getting back from Texas to Massachusetts on a thunderstorm struck 3rd of July and see who gets on the planes.