Southwest Airlines delivers the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience benchmark of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.
Of the nine airlines included in this year's Ratings, Southwest Airlines earned the highest score with a rating of 76 percent, putting it in 51st place overall out of 318 companies across 20 industries. Southwest has earned the highest score for airlines every year since the Ratings began in 2011, with the exception of 2015, when JetBlue came in first.
Overall, the airlines industry averaged a 66 percent rating in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for 12th place out of 20 industries. The average rating of the industry is unchanged from 2017.
The ratings of all airlines in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows:
- Southwest Airlines: 76%
- Alaska Airlines: 74%
- JetBlue Airlines: 70%
- Virgin America: 70%
- Delta Airlines: 64%
- United Airlines: 63%
- American Airlines: 62%
- ExpressJet: 59%
- Spirit Airlines: 45%
"Southwest Airlines continues to set the pace for customer experience in the airline industry, but Alaska Airlines is closing the gap," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, in a written statement.
Alaska Airlines' customer experience score improved the most over the previous year, gaining six percentage points. Spirit Airlines' score, on the other hand, declined the most, dropping five points.
Now in its eighth year of publication, the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates 318 companies across 20 industries: airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer & tablet makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, health plans, hotels & rooms, insurance carriers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, rental cars & transport, retailers, software firms, streaming media, supermarket chains, TV & appliance makers, TV/Internet service providers, utilities, and wireless carriers.
To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to evaluate their recent experiences with a company across three dimensions: success (can you do what you want to do?), effort (how easy is it to work with the company?), and emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?). Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce each company's Temkin Experience Rating.
In these ratings, a score of 70 percent or above is considered "good," and a score of 80 percent or above is considered "excellent," while a score below 60 percent is considered "poor."