If you’re booking your next trip on a Canadian airline, there’s a good chance you’re going to be disappointed. A survey from J.D. Power, a company that delivers consumer insights, found that Canada’s two major airlines had the lowest customer satisfaction scores.
The survey was divided into two categories and given to over 11,000 North American airline customers, with Air Canada included as a traditional carrier and WestJet included as a low-cost carrier. In their respective categories, Air Canada ranked last and WestJet came in second last.
With a score of 765 out of a possible 1,000 points, Alaska Airlines had the highest customer service ranking for traditional carriers, followed by Delta Airlines (758), American Airlines (736) and United Airlines (716). Air Canada wasn’t too far behind the other airlines, scoring 709.
WestJet’s gap from the top performers in the list for low-cost carriers was much more drastic. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue scored 807 and 803, with WestJet coming in at 736. The Alberta-based airline did score better than Air Canada, but that’s mainly because customer satisfaction is higher all around when it comes to low-cost airlines (there are generally lower customer expectations).
As the two major Canadian airlines, WestJet and Air Canada enjoy a lack of competition, which could be a contributing factor to their low ranking.
It isn’t all bad news for travellers, though. Despite recent headlines, including a passenger being dragged off a Delta flight and a fight breaking out at Fort Lauderdale Airport this week, customer satisfaction with airlines is up from previous years.
Overall, customer satisfaction on North American flights improved by 3 per cent this year compared to last year. With the average ticket price in 2016 down by 8.5 per cent to $349 USD (or about $478 CAD), customers are generally happier. In addition, fewer reports of lost luggage and more planes arriving on time has also contributed to this boost in customer satisfaction.
If you are unhappy with your flying experience at any point, the report found that receiving a response from the airline on social media created a major increase in customer satisfaction. So if your flight’s delayed, tweeting about it could make you feel better in the long run.