Grading the Airlines | My Family Travels
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Airlines are doing a better job of taking care of the passengers they still have, according to what I just read.

Could have fooled me!

It seems that passenger satisfaction with airline service rose 3.2 percent earlier this year, the first increase in six years, according to a University of Michigan study.

Why? It’s not that the airlines are more efficient. It’s that fewer people are flying! And passengers checked fewer bags to avoid baggage charges.

But, if fewer passengers are the reason for the improved satisfaction score, imagine how ecstatic passengers will be with the airlines in the fall, when domestic boardings are expected to decline fall 8.8 percent!

Who made people the happiest? Southwest Airlines Co. had the highest score, 81 on a zero-to-100 scale. No surprise there. Then Continental Airlines Inc. at 68 And in third place: Delta Air Lines Inc. at 64

One-time last place in customer satisfaction, US Airways rebounded big time, and United’s score was unchanged from last year, when it was also in last place. At least United acknowledged the problem: “We need to focus on the basics of running a good airline, and that means one that runs on-time with clean planes. When our flights are on-time and our planes are clean, we can deliver great service to our customers,” United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said.

But, if the airlines are not making any money, it’s doubtful service will improve. Let alone on-time arrivals and departures.

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This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.