J.D. Power Survey Agrees: American is One of the Worst Airlines in North America

by Anthony Losanno

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J.D. Power released its 2023 North America Airline Satisfaction Study and American ranked among the worst in First/Business as well as Economy Class. The survey measures passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travelers and passengers continue to be less happy with each passing year. The entire air travel experience is evaluated from making reservations to retrieving baggage. I feel a little vindicated after being chided by so many for my thoughts around American Airlines in a post I wrote a few weeks ago.

Passenger satisfaction dropped 22 points between 2021 and 2002. It fell an additional seven points between 2022 and 2023. J.D. Power surveyed 7,774 passengers between March 2022 and March 2023 on a 1,000 point scale in the following categories:

  • Check-In
  • Boarding
  • Baggage
  • Aircraft
  • Flight Crew
  • In-Flight Services
  • Costs & Fees

JetBlue Plane

First and Business Class

JetBlue Airways ranked highest with a score of 893. I find this amusing as JetBlue offers limited premium service on transcontinental flights, some destinations in the Caribbean, and recently London, Paris, and Amsterdam. I have never flown Mint (JetBlue’s Business Class), but hear great things about its seats and catering. It also doesn’t have any lounges.

Delta Air Lines came in second place with a. score of 865. I have switched the majority of my flying to Delta and have had generally great experiences on my flights (all of them have been in First or Business Class). Delta serves over 1,000 destinations in 60 countries and on six continents. I’ll be flying its Delta One® service to Europe and Peru in the coming months (full reviews to come). I love the Sky Clubs® and I find the overall experience a bit more luxe than other US carriers.

United Airlines was third with a score of 848. It serves 354 destinations in 48 countries and on six continents. I switched a lot of my United flying last year and lost my Global Services status. United’s catering, timeliness, and overall service has been bad. I would have likely scored them a bit lower. I have read about some improvements in Polaris (United’s Business Class) and will share my thoughts after my flight from London in July.

Alaska Airlines (833 points) came next, followed by Air Canada (830 points), and American Airlines in last place at 826 points.

Delta Plane

Premium Economy

Delta topped this category with a score of 848 points. Delta offers Premium Select on international flights and Comfort+ on domestic routes. Both offer more space, improved food and beverages, and enhanced service. JetBlue was next at 840 points followed by Alaska (823), American (821) Air Canada (797) and United (784).

United offers Premium Plus on international routes and Economy Plus on domestic flights. Internationally, Premium Plus is akin to a domestic First Class seat and the catering is similar to Polaris. Domestically, you’ll get extra legroom and nothing else. I’m not sure why this category scored United so low, but passengers are not happy.

Southwest Airlines


Southwest Airlines took the top spot in Economy Class with a score of 827 points. I can’t understand why people love Southwest (especially after its tech meltdown), but the airline has a following. I flew them once and am good. Southwest carried more passengers than any other US airline in 2018 and serves 120 destinations in ten countries.

Delta came in second with 801 points followed closely by JetBlue with 800 points. Alaska was next (781 points), followed by WestJet (777), Allegiant Air (775), United (770), Air Canada (765), American (764), and Spirit Airlines (727).

American was ranked only better than Spirit Airlines. That says something about the overall experience.

Anthony’s Take: It seems like passengers agree with me. American Airlines is pretty bad. My flight the other week must be more representative than people wanted to let me believe. This survey shows just how far behind Delta and United they fall.

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