Southwest comes out on top in new airline survey

JetBlue finished second in rankings

FILE - This Wednesday, July 17, 2019 file photo shows Southwest Airlines planes at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The Transportation Department's inspector general said in a report Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 that Southwest Airlines continues to fly airplanes with safety concerns, putting 17 million passengers at risk, while federal officials do a poor job overseeing the airline. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) (Ross D. Franklin, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Southwest Airlines has the highest ranking for customer satisfaction in 2020.

The JD Power survey of 10,000 business and leisure travelers was conducted from April 2019 to March 2020.

Southwest had the highest satisfaction levels in a number of categories including baggage handling, boarding, check-in, costs and crew.

The survey covered both short-haul and long-haul flights and Southwest was on top in both categories.

JetBlue finished second in both, Delta was third in long haul and Alaska took third place for shorter flights.

Ironically, before the pandemic, JD Power noted that overall customer satisfaction scores were the highest they had ever recorded.

The COVID-19 crisis has since changed the airline industry overnight.

A survey conducted in mid-April shows that now what air travelers value most are regular updates on safety and sanitization measures.