After 18 years of leading the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Southwest Airlines relinquished its title to JetBlue Airways this year.
JetBlue had a score of 81 out of 100 for customer satisfaction compared to Southwest's score of 77. The index, which is compiled by the University of Michigan, said Southwest's merger with AirTran affected their passengers' satisfaction.
"Airline mergers tend to create significant passenger dissatisfaction in the short term as operations are combined and consolidated," said ACSI founder Claes Fornell. "Southwest's share value has declined 20 percent over the past year while the rest of the market stayed largely unscathed with most major airlines flat or improving.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines came in sixth with a score of 64, up 1.6 percent from last year while United Airlines ranked the worst with a score of 62.
Airlines continue to remain in the bottom 3 of the 47 industries that the ACSI studies. Airlines average score of 67 is the third worst, followed by subscription TV service, 66, and the newspaper industry, 64.
Here is the full list from ACSI:
1. JetBlue, 81
2. Southwest, 77
3. All other carriers, 74
4. Delta Air Lines, 65
4. US Airways, 65
6. American, 64
7. United, 62