ST. LOUIS — Delta Air Lines, St. Louis' third-largest carrier, took the top spot in J.D. Power's annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study, a long-held goal of the Atlanta-based airline.
Delta invested heavily in offering safer customer experiences over the past year and it paid off, helping it edge out St. Louis Lambert International Airport's largest carrier, Southwest Airlines, which ranked second, and Alaska Airlines, which placed a close third.
The study results, unveiled Wednesday, measure ratings from customers who flew on the top airlines between July 2020 and March 2021, a period during which North America's airline industry lost more than $40 billion in revenue and passenger volume dropped 60%.
Delta earned a rating of 860 out of 1,000.
The airline's first-place finish was particularly meaningful "during the most challenging year in our history," said CEO Ed Bastian. "As we move into the recovery, our people‐first actions will continue to drive our decisions and build on the trust earned during the pandemic.”
The firm attributed the improvements to the elimination of many charges and fees, increased attentiveness of flight crews and ticket flexibility. On average, passenger satisfaction climbed 27 points to 819 (on a 1,000-point scale) year over year.
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