Best North American airlines? JD Power ranks ’em

There are dozens of surveys, studies, and rankings of airports in North America and around the world.

And plenty of ways to shuffle the deck.

One of the more reliable surveys is North American Airlines Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power, a company specializing in consumer insights, data and analytics.

The report evaluates the travel experience based on performance in eight factors: aircraft; baggage; boarding; check-in; cost and fees; flight crew; in-flight services; and reservation.

And the evaluations are further applied to cabin categories: first/business, premium economy, and economy. Which we know can make a difference in your satisfaction with your journey.

The results

According to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airline Satisfaction Study customer satisfaction with major airlines is down significantly for a second consecutive year.

The 2023 report finds that overall passenger satisfaction is 791 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is down 7 points from a year ago. That comes on the heels of a 22-point decline in 2022 from 2021.

Fueling the dissatisfaction is the high cost of airfares and all the extra fees.

The rankings


JetBlue Airways ranks highest in customer satisfaction in the first/business segment for a second consecutive year, with a score of 893. 

Delta Air Lines (865) ranks second and United Airlines (848) ranks third.

Premium Economy

Delta Air Lines also ranks highest in customer satisfaction in the premium economy segment with a score of 848. JetBlue Airways (840) ranks second and Alaska Airlines (823) ranks third.

Economy/Basic Economy

Southwest Airlines ranks highest in customer satisfaction in the economy/basic economy segment for a second consecutive year, with a score of 827.

Delta Air Lines(801) ranks second and JetBlue Airways(800) ranks third.

Stuck at the Airport: free flights + a pup parade

Alaska Airlines Kraken Contest

This year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs are getting pretty exciting for fans of the Seattle Kraken.

The team has a surprise 2-1 lead against the Dallas Stars in a best-of-7 series and Game 4 is Tuesday night.

Alaska Airlines, the official airline of the Seattle Kraken, is joining in the fun by giving away free flights.

The number of flights they’ll give away is tied to the number on the jersey of the first player to score.

To participate in “Getaway Goals,” follow @alaskaair on social media, reply with the last name or number of the player you think will score first, and include #AlaskaAirGoals.

Here’s a link to the contest rules and here’s a link to The Seattle Kraken NHL site so you can study the players.

PUPs on Parade at Los Angeles International Airport

Pet therapy programs at airports are incredibly popular and the program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a pup parade.

The LAX PUPs program, which stands for Pets Unstressing Passengers, started in 2013 and now includes more than 80 dogs and their handlers.

On Wednesday, May 10, from 11 am until 1 pm, more than a dozen LAX PUPs and their volunteer handlers will participate in a pup parade – complete with red carpet – in Terminal 1, by Gate 17/18 at LAX and then stick around for a meet-and-greet and photo ops with ticketed passengers.

Heathrow Airport’s Commemorative Coronation Luggage Tag

Heathrow Airport welcomed plenty of VIPs and tourists to town for the Coronation of King Charles III. 

And to mark the occasion, Heathrow Airport commissioned London-based artist Morag Myerscough to design a commemorative luggage tag that is being handed out to travelers through May 10.

“Instinctively I knew a bold color-filled, joyful, positive approach to the luggage tag to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and the start of a new era was going to be my approach,” said Myerscough. “I marked the day with ‘CR III 2023’ and on the reverse depicting an abstract gateway to echo how Heathrow is the gateway to the UK and the world, welcoming people to start their adventures there and now to celebrate a new monarch.”

The tags are printed on the high-quality, recycled card by ‘the Royals’ favorite stationer’ Barnard & Westwood. This is the fine printing and bookbinding company that held a Royal Warrant under both Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III when he was Prince of Wales, printing the orders of service for royal events such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.  

In addition to the luggage tags, Heathrow has been celebrating the King’s Coronation with live music, Coronation-themed cupcakes and Walker’s shortbreads, and special dishes in some of the restaurants. Look for the King’s Blini at the Caviar House & Prunier, Coronation Chicken at Pilot’s Bar & Kitchen, and the King Charles Burger at Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen.

And head to Terminal 5 for the special Union Jack lighting that also celebrates the Coronation.

(Photos courtesy Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire)

May is a good time to land at Denver Int’l Airport

Sadly, the 250-ft tall Red Eye Ferris wheel announced by Denver International Airport (DEN) on April 1 was just an April’s Fools joke.

But there are plenty of real events coming to the airport during May that travelers will enjoy.

May The Fourth Be With You

Like some other airports around the country, Denver International Airport has a good time on Star Wars Day – May 4th.

This year they’ll do it again. On Thursday, May 4 characters from the Star Wars movies will be parading in the Jeppesen Terminal and all the concourses between 10:30 am and 1 pm.

Travelers will be able to get their pictures taken with Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mandalorian, and a Stormtrooper.

On Friday, May 5, DEN Airport will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a performance by the Baila Conmigo Dance Group in the Jeppesen Terminal Great Hall and in the concourses between 10 am and 1 pm.

National Paper Airplane Day 

And on Friday, May 26th between 9 am and noon, Denver International Airport will be celebrating National Paper Airplane Day.

From 9 am until noon a traveling craft station will visit the concourses at DEN with a supply of origami paper and offer tutorials on how to fold the perfect paper airplane.

See the list of these and other events at Denver International Airport here.

Seatback Safety Cards: A Good Read

We had a chance to chat about airline passenger safety briefing cards with Trisha Ferguson, CEO of The Interaction Group, for a story on The Runway Girl Network.

The Olympia, Washington-based firm has been around for more than 50 years and has designed and printed inflight safety information cards for more than 600 airlines. 

The important and information-rich seatback safety cards have been around for decades but only became mandated in the US aviation industry in 1977. And while it may seem like all the cards are the same, they vary from carrier to carrier, aircraft to aircraft, and have evolved in graphics and design.

“Many of the earliest versions were booklet-style pamphlets that were all or 90% text,” says Ferguson. “The content was unfamiliar to the average passenger. And many of the phrases, words, and terminology were only understood if you were an industry professional.”

Over the years, much has changed in the look of the illustrations in terms of style and culture. And some creative ways airlines tried to get passengers to pay more attention to the cards. 

“One of my favorites was Sun Country Airlines,” says Ferguson. “We hid seven different characters in the illustrations, including a construction worker, a gentleman in a tuxedo, and a ballerina. And the crew would tell passengers that if they found all the characters, they’d get a little prize.” 

Read more about the history and development of airline safety cards in our story on The Runway Girl Network.