Travelers’ Favorite Airlines for Every Class, Including Coach

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Happy woman on an airplane
Natee Meepian /

Airlines that are investing in their workforce are seeing such efforts pay off in increased customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power’s latest annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

The top-performing carriers “have made substantial investments in the people side of their business,” J.D. Power says. Such efforts include better training and improved recruitment processes that result in a more customer-friendly experience.

The latest study was redesigned from previous years. More than 9,500 passengers were asked to rate airlines on a “poor-to-perfect” six-point scale in the following areas:

  • Airline staff
  • Digital tools
  • Ease of travel
  • Level of trust
  • On-board experience
  • Pre/post-flight experience
  • Value for price paid

In a summary of the findings, Michael Taylor, senior managing director of travel, hospitality, retail and customer service for J.D. Power, says:

“The big takeaway from this year’s study is the power of people to positively influence the overall flight experience. Airlines that are investing in staff training and recruitment are finding ways to overcome the negative effects of crowded gates and planes simply by being nice to their customers.”

Here are the highest-rated North American airlines in three categories: first/business class, premium economy class and economy/basic economy class.

First/business class

Delta Air Lines
Tupungato /

The average score in first/business class is 701 out of 1,000. Airlines that exceed that score are:

  • Delta Air Lines: 743
  • JetBlue Airways: 736

Airlines that score below average are:

  • United Airlines: 698
  • Alaska Airlines: 695
  • American Airlines: 676
  • Air Canada: 629

Premium economy class

Traveler at the Delta Air Lines desk at an airport
Tada Images /

The average score in premium economy class is 675. Airlines that exceed that score are:

  • Delta Air Lines: 716
  • Alaska Airlines: 687
  • American Airlines: 684

Airlines that score below average are:

  • JetBlue Airways: 667
  • WestJet: 664
  • United Airlines: 641
  • Air Canada: 628

Economy/basic economy class

Southwest Airlines
Eliyahu Yosef Parypa /

The average score in economy/basic economy class — also called coach — is 613. Airlines that exceed that score are:

  • Southwest Airlines: 685
  • Delta Air Lines: 651
  • Allegiant Air: 633
  • Alaska Airlines: 630
  • JetBlue Airways: 630

Airlines that score below average are:

  • American Airlines: 611
  • WestJet: 591
  • United Airlines: 585
  • Air Canada: 542
  • Spirit Airlines: 507
  • Frontier Airlines: 472

Saving more on your next vacation

Mother and daughter on vacation at the beach
DisobeyArt /

Are you planning a vacation? Inflation is making everything — including travel — more expensive, but there are ways to cut costs.

For example, smart decisions about meals can save you a significant amount of money, as you will learn in “10 Ways to Save Money on Food While Traveling.”

And if you want to save even more money, it pays to follow in the footsteps of cost-cutting experts. Check out “11 Secret Ways Frugal Travelers Slash Their Costs.”

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