Airlines Ranked for Customer Service Continental Dominates


J.D. Power and Associates has released their 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. Here’s how the major US airlines rank:

Airline JDP Score
Continental Airlines 669
Delta Air Lines 641
American Airlines 618
Northwest Airlines 614
United Airlines 604
US Airways 559

These rankings are very similar to 2008.  NWA rose slightly in the rankings and US Airways dropped to last. Every airline had a lower score in 2009 than in 2008. And if you look back to 2008 and 2007, the rankings don’t change much. Continental Airlines is consistently on top, followed by Delta and American. NWA, United and US Airways trade places somewhat but always stay near the bottom.

And this parallels my experience over the last three years.

So even though the scores have been dropping, this tells me there is consistency in how the airlines are delivering customer service. Looking forward you might expect this pattern to continue. But it won’t. Things will actually get better over the next few years.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson has made a public commitment to delivering better customer service. He wants to win. And he’s acquired NWA so he has a much bigger airline now. A big improvement in customer service at Delta could be a game changer for the airline industry. And it will give Continental some competition in the customer service space. It could raise the bar for all big US airlines. Wouldn’t that be nice!

What are your thoughts? Is airline customer service improving or getting worse? And who will win the airline customer service wars?

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz