Is America Really Happier Than Ever With Airline Service?

The venerable J.D. Power has just released its annual North American Airline satisfaction study, and results are showing that flyers are more happy with airline service than ever before. Does that sound right to you? Maybe we've all just given in and lowered our collective expectations?

JDP says overall satisfaction is at an all-time high of 712 on a 1,000 point scale — up 17 points from last lear. According to the 11,370 people surveyed, Alaska, Delta and American have the best service among traditional airlines. JetBlue and Southwest are the top-ranked low cost airlines, and they both rank well above their traditional counterparts. JetBlue had the highest rank for the 10th straight year.

The study found that more people have submitted to the beating of checked baggage fees as being part of travel now, and among those who are okay with the fees, their satisfaction scores are 771, verses 663 from those who feel they are unreasonable. Checked bag fees have become the make or break point of profitability for most airlines, as price sensitive passengers have stopped paying the base fare prices required to maintain a profit on their own.

Comedian Brian Regan tells us what frustrates him about flying.

If you could change something about an airline or its policies, tell us by leaving a reply. Let's make one thing clear — the TSA is not "the airlines" so we're going to leave them out of the conversation. Everyone dislikes the TSA, including the airlines, so there's no point chasing our tails by discussing them any further in this post, but I'm sure they'll give us plenty to vent about in the future.

Top photo: Imperial Airways service, London to Paris 1935. [Getty Images]