Delta and Southwest Top 2024 J.D. Power Airline Satisfaction Study

by Anthony Losanno
Delta A330

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The results of the J.D. Power 2024 North America Airline Satisfaction Study were recently released. The study measures customer satisfaction in seven core categories. Delta took first place in both First/Business Class and Premium Economy while Southwest Airlines claimed victory for Economy Class.

JD Power 2024

Domestic air passenger volume is up 9.4% year over year. The 2024 study is based on responses from 9,582 passengers. These passengers had to fly on a major North America airline within the past month of completing a survey (between March 2023 through March 2024). Delta Air Lines was highly commended for the following attributes:

  • Day of travel pre-/post-flight experience
  • On-board experience
  • Ease of Travel with airline
  • Digital tools
  • Airline staff
  • Level of trust with airline

Value for price paid is the only category that Delta Air Lines did not claim victory. This is no surprise to anyone that has purchased tickets from the Atlanta-based carrier as there is generally a premium to fly Delta.

Delta A321

First/Business Class

Delta Air Lines beat out the rest of the North American airlines for its premium cabins. Here are the top five placements:

  • Delta Air Lines (743)
  • JetBlue Airways (736)
  • United Airlines (698)
  • Alaska Airlines (695)
  • American Airlines (676)

Premium Economy

Delta also took the top spot for Premium Economy. Here are the top five in this category:

  • Delta Air Lines (716)
  • Alaska Airlines (687)
  • American Airlines (684)
  • JetBlue Airways (667)
  • Westjet (664)

Economy/Basic Economy

Southwest claimed victory here, but Delta was a solid second-place finisher. Here are the top five placements:

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

It’s surprising to me that Allegiant beat out American Airlines and United.

Delta maintained its dominance in Premium Economy (it was first in the 2023 study) and beat JetBlue for First/Business Class (it was second in 2023). Southwest also won for Economy/Basic Economy in 2023.

Michael Taylor, Senior Managing Director of Travel, Hospitality, Retail, and Customer Service at J.D. Power, said:

There are many aspects to the overall air travel experience that airlines cannot control, but one area in which they can profoundly influence is the positive effect that airline staff has on passengers. 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.”

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, added:

This is a wonderful reflection of our elevated customer experience, fueled by the unparalleled service of our 100,000 Delta people worldwide. I’m incredibly proud of our team for continuously raising the bar for our customers.”

Both Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have made significant investments over the past few years on everything from aircraft to personnel. We’ll see if this holds up in 2025.

Anthony’s Take: I don’t fly Southwest since it doesn’t offer premium cabins. Delta is a consistently good experience and I will continue to be loyal to them until I no longer enjoy the flights (like I currently feel when I fly United Airlines).

(Image Credits: Delta Air Lines.)

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