Top Stories
Top Stories
Airlines

Southwest Airlines loses top spot in passenger satisfaction, even as others gain

Key Points
  • Southwest Airlines dropped two places from the top in terms of passenger satisfaction in 2019, a survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showed.
  • Southwest is the biggest user of Boeing's 737 Max jets that were grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes.
  • Southwest was ranked third this year out of 10 airlines, behind Alaska Air and JetBlue Airways, which climbed one place each to claim the first and the second spot.
A number of Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked at Southern California Logistics Airport on March 27, 2019 in Victorville, California. Southwest Airlines is waiting out a global grounding of MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft at the airport.
Mario Tama | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines, the biggest user of Boeing's 737 Max jets that were grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes, dropped two places from the top in terms of passenger satisfaction in 2019, a survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showed.

Southwest was ranked third this year out of 10 airlines, behind Alaska Air and JetBlue Airways, which climbed one place each to claim the first and the second spot.

"Recent deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max (for Ethiopian Airlines and Air Lion) have left Southwest particularly vulnerable to safety concerns," ACSI said in a report.

Passenger satisfaction for all airlines on average in 2019 was up 1.4 percent to 74 points, with Alaska scoring 80 points on a scale of 0 to 100, and JetBlue and Southwest got 79 each.

American Airlines, the No.1 U.S. airline that has the second-biggest fleet of the grounded Max jets in the United States, lost 1 point to score 73, but maintained its fifth rank in the chart.

American has grounded its 24 737 Max jetliners until Aug. 19, leading to about 115 daily cancellations during the peak summer travel season.

Southwest lost more than $200 million in revenue during the first quarter and has taken its 34 MAX aircraft out of the company's flying schedule through August 5.

Delta Air Lines gained 1 point to get a score of 75 and maintained its rank at the fourth spot. United Continental added 4 points to earn a score of 70, while also keeping its seventh rank as last year.

ACSI measures passenger satisfaction scores based on interviews with thousands of customers across a range of metrics including timeliness of arrival, baggage handling, loyalty program, cleanliness and in-flight entertainment.

Next Article
Markets

GE says Boeing's 737 Max is 'a new risk' to this year's earnings forecast

Key Points
  • General Electric adds Boeing's grounded 737 Max airplanes as "a new risk" in its earnings report.
  • GE says it is "working arm in arm with Boeing while actively monitoring the grounding of the 737 MAX fleet."
  • The company delivered 424 engines to Boeing in the first quarter for installation on 737 Max aircraft.