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Airlines With the Best Digital Experience: Survey

Tuesday, 3 Jul 2012 | 11:35 AM ET

Many surveys are released throughout the year ranking airlines based on operational performance and customer service. But one company takes another look at the airline industry — the online experience and how the airline performs as a brand.

Delta Airlines
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Delta Airlines

For the second consecutive year, Delta Air Lines took the top spot in the Heardable benchmark report titled, "Top 10 Airlines in North America." Delta's brand health score of 739 out of 1,000 possible points beat its nearest competitor, United Airlines , by 17 points and surpassed third place American Airlines by 66 points. The gap between Delta and lowest-ranked Aeromexico was 195 points.

"Delta has accomplished what few brands have been able to do in the digital era," says Jon Samsel, co-founder and CEO of Heardable, in a release. "Not only have they finished number one in two consecutive Heardable research reports profiling the effectiveness of the airline industry, but they've managed to make their brand synonymous with a quality online experience."

Three areas of competence that caught Heardable's attention and secured Delta's top ranking were:
  • Sharing and syndicating travel content
  • Social media participation
  • Search optimization

In addition to delta.com, Delta maintains a strong social media presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It also publishes a blog, offers a version of its site that's optimized for mobile smartphone browsing, and publishes a text-only version of its website.

The full list and scoring for the top 10 airlines is as follows:
  1. Delta Air Lines (739 points)
  2. United Airlines (722 points)
  3. American Airlines (673 points)
  4. US Airways (666 points)
  5. Southwest (657 points)
  6. JetBlue (639 points)
  7. WestJet (629 points)
  8. Hawaiian Airlines (580 points)
  9. Air Canada (555 points)
  10. Aeromexico (544 points)
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