The happy American traveler: airlines from sea to shining sea are doing something right

For this one, ultra-low-cost airlines like Miramar, Florida-based Spirit Airlines (formerly Charter One) and Calgary-Alberta-headquartered Swoop Airline got a pass. 

A recently released survey conducted by JD Power & Associates shows that jetsetters and snowbirds alike are happier with traditional airlines than they were a year ago. That’s according to CNBC’s Leslie Josephs, who reported in late May that the “survey found passengers’ satisfaction with the region’s North America airlines rose six points from a year earlier to 762 on a 1,000-point scale with the biggest improvements in satisfaction with aircraft, deplaning and baggage claim and the reservation system.”

Frequent fliers and turkey pilgrims in the land of the free and the home of the brave are, however, getting the grins more often than their neighbours to the north when they head above the clouds.

SeaTac, Washington-based Alaska Air scored the highest in the JD Power & Associates survey with 775 points followed by Atlanta, Georgia-based Delta Airlines with 767 points. Montreal, Quebec-headquartered Air Canada came in ahead of fourth-place American Airlines by five points with a score of 734. The “Fly the Friendly Skies” people, Chicago, Illinois-based United Airlines, came in last amongst traditional carriers with 708 points. 

Michael Taylor, the man at the helm of JD Power & Associates travel unit, remains adamant that both American and United have “made strides in the past five years,” Josephs reported. 

It’s important to keep in mind, Josephs emphasized, that “JD Power wrapped up last year’s survey just before a string of public relations disasters for United that started with the violent dragging of passenger David Dao off of a plane flying for the airline in April 2017. Several high-profile animal deaths and mix-ups followed.”

Among lost-cost airlines, Dallas, Texas-based South came out on top in the US while Calgary, Alberta-based WestJet bested its Canadian competition.


By David MacDonald