Airline satisfaction - low-cost airlines in North America 2019

In March 2019, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways shared top honors for customer satisfaction among North American low-cost carriers, with both receiving scores of 817. The segment average stood at 793.

Low-cost carriers in North America

The two North American low-cost carriers with whom customers are most satisfied are also the two largest. In terms of both revenue and passengers, Southwest and JetBlue are among the world’s largest low-cost carriers, with Southwest being the undisputed segment leader. However, the comparison with airlines like Spirit and Frontier is perhaps a little unfair, as these latter two are both ultra low-cost carriers. Accordingly, their primary goal of providing lower ticket prices can lead to a reduced focus on customer convenience, for example, by having fewer flights between less-accessible secondary airports.

Satisfaction with low-cost versus full-service carriers

Not only are Southwest and JetBlue outperforming other low-cost carriers in term of customer satisfaction, but they are also outperforming most full-service carriers. In 2019, Southwest and JetBlue received customer satisfaction index scores well above the U.S. airline industry average and higher than all three of the legacy carriers - Delta, United and American. A similar story occurred in Canada, with Air Canada receiving significantly more consumer complaints than WestJet in the financial year of 2017-2018.

North American airline satisfaction index scores within the low-cost segment as of March 2019*

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Release date

May 2019


North America

Survey time period

April 2018 to March 2019

Supplementary notes

* The index score is based on responses from 5,966 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2018 and March 2019. The study was fielded between April 2018 and March 2019.

Index scores are based on a 1,000-point scale.

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Statistics on "Spirit Airlines"

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