J.D. Power, best known for its annual customer-satisfaction rankings of car owners, this week released its new survey of customer satisfaction with the airlines.

According to the 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, travelers are more satisfied with their overall flight experiences than they were a year ago.  And last year, they were more satisfied than they were the previous year.  In other words, there's a positive trend, with airlines doing a better job of meeting their customers' expectations.

That at least is the view of J.D. Power.  An alternative reading of the results might be that the airlines have simply trained consumers to lower their expectations.

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The satisfaction grades are based on airlines' performance in seven categories, ranked in order of importance: cost and fees; in-flight services; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; aircraft; check-in; and reservations.

On a 1,000-point scale, satisfaction with the 11 largest North American carriers averaged 717 points, up from 712 points last year.

The scores and rankings:

  • JetBlue - 801
  • Southwest - 781
  • Alaska - 719
  • WestJet - 715
  • Delta - 709
  • AirTran - 702
  • American - 700
  • Air Canada - 683
  • US Airways - 668
  • United - 665
  • Frontier - 659

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Read the original story: JetBlue, Southwest Top in Customer Satisfaction by Tim Winship, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

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