With the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reporting that 679 million total passengers flew on U.S. flights in the past year alone, it’s safe to say that flying has never been more popular. The good news is that not only are more Americans taking flights, but that consumers are reporting higher levels of customer satisfaction than ever before. According to a report by J.D. Power and Associates, consumer satisfaction with U.S. domestic flights is on the rise, especially when it comes to rating the flight crew and in-flight services. Still, it’s important to do research before booking a flight, since not all airlines ranked similarly. Related: Domestic travel destinations that give you more bang for your buck
Popular Doesn’t Mean BetterFirst and foremost, it’s essential not to mistake the popularity of an airline for its customer service, since those two numbers don’t always go hand-in-hand. For example, one of the highest rated domestic U.S. airlines that consistently receives top ratings is Alaska Airlines, which only has 4.4% of the market share. Similarly, JetBlue, which also only has a small slice of the market—5.2%—was the highest ranked airline of all.
That’s not to say that you should avoid flying on the most dominant airlines. Southwest and Delta, the two most popular U.S. domestic airlines, also received high customer satisfaction ratings this year. But the findings from J.D. Power and Associates reveal that you shouldn’t book an airline just because they’re popular—United Airlines is one of the largest in the country, but they’re at the very bottom of the pack. Keep Reading: How to fly for free with an air miles card
Winning AirlinesWhen it comes to traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines is second to none. Ahead of second place Delta and third place American Airlines, Alaska’s stellar customer service has led it to the top for the eighth year in a row.
On the survey of budget airlines, JetBlue was ranked number one for the tenth year in a row. In fact, JetBlue received the highest ratings of any domestic airline in the country, which says a lot about their successful emphasis on providing the best customer satisfaction in the business. JetBlue is followed by Southwest Airlines and Segment Average, which also received very good ratings.