Airlines have experienced a modest increase in customer satisfaction for the second year running, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The index for airlines improved 2 points to 69 on ASCI’s 100-point scale. While any improvement is a good sign, that score of 69 is still relatively low compared to other industries: for example, the airline industry still has some catching up to do to meet the hotel industry’s mark of 77, which remains unchanged from 2012 and 2011.
Nevertheless, not all airline customer experiences are created equal, and some airlines are dragging down the average. United appears to be the worst offender, with a customer satisfaction score of 62, flat from last year. US Airways (64) and American (65) are also below-average in this regard. Neither hold a candle to JetBlue’s score, which improved 2 points to a leading 83, ahead of Southwest, which got a 4-point boost this year to 81.
Within the airline industry, customers were most satisfied with the ease of the check-in process (82) and ease of making a reservation (82), and least satisfied with seat comfort (63).
Among hotels, Marriott (82) took the lead from Hilton (80) on the back of a 4-point improvement, with Best Western and Hyatt both improving 3 points to 79. Wyndham was the most poorly rated, though it climbed a couple of points to 72.
As with airlines, hotels got high marks for ease of check-in (89) and reservations (88), with customers less pleased about the quality of food services such as restaurants, room service or mini-bar items (76).
- Customer satisfaction with full-service restaurants improved by a point to 81, led by Red Lobster (flat at 83) and Olive Garden, which gained 3 points. Customers were quite satisfied with all the measured elements of the full-service experience, with website satisfaction getting the lowest score, of 82.
- Satisfaction with limited-service restaurants stayed put at 80, with Subway taking the lead by virtue of a 1-point increase to a score of 83. Despite having the lowest satisfaction score of the various elements of the fast food experience, quality of the food in terms of taste, temperature and freshness of ingredients still scored an 81.
- Consumer shipping companies improved their satisfaction score by 2 points to reach 84, with FedEx (85) edging UPS (84) for the top spot.
- The US Postal Service enjoyed a small uptick in satisfaction scores, up 2 points to 77.
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