Southwest Airlines is the best airline in the country for economy and basic economy flights, according to a new J.D. Power survey of more than 7,000 travelers.
JetBlue Airways got top marks for premium economy, business and first class in the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airline Satisfaction Study and also scored well for economy and basic economy fares.
Overall customer satisfaction across airlines dipped a bit from last year's record high, but that's to be expected as more people return to travel, said Mike Taylor, J.D. Power's managing director for travel, hospitality and retail.
"When you get an aircraft that's half to a third full, you think this is a great experience, but you can't maintain an industry flying planes around that are only one-third of capacity," he said. "There's been a greater demand, which means higher prices, less satisfaction and also that middle seat is more likely to be filled than it was a year-and-a-half, two years ago. And that, of course, kind of diminishes satisfaction among airline travelers."
SPIRIT WANTS FRONTIER, NOT JETBLUE: How will travelers fare?
This year's study found average airfares jumped 20% year-over-year as fuel prices rose. Taylor says cost and perceived value traditionally weigh heavy in customer satisfaction.
Cost and fees are just one factor. Airline customers also score airlines based on satisfaction with aircraft, baggage, boarding, check-in, flight crew, in-flight services and reservation experience.
Airline disruptions, like cancellations, were not taken into consideration.
"We're trying to measure what happened in-flight," Taylor explains. "So you have to actually be on a flight to complete the survey."
These are the top 5 North American airlines in each fare category.
Southwest Airlines (849 out of 1,000 points)
JetBlue Airways (828 out of 1,000 points)
Delta Air Lines (813 out of 1,000 points)
Allegiant Air (803 out of 1,000 points)
Alaska Airlines (794 out of 1,000 points)
JetBlue Airways (851 out of 1,000 points)
Delta Air Lines (837 out of 1,000 points)
Alaska Airlines (825 out of 1,000 points)
American Airlines (818 out of 1,000 points)
United Airlines (801 out of 1,000 points)
JetBlue Airways (878 out of 1,000 points)
Alaska Airlines (876 out of 1,000 points)
Delta Air Lines (862 out of 1,000 points)
Air Canada (832 out of 1,000 points)
United Airlines (822 out of 1,000 points)
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southwest, JetBlue named best airlines in 2022 by customers