Can You Guess Which Airline Ranks Worst In Customer Satisfaction?

April 23, 2015  |  

The nickle-and-diming, baggage fees, the uncomfortable seats, the delays — let’s face it, flying can be a nightmare. According to CNN Money, airlines and their high-priced services stink, but there is one air carrier, as per a recently released travel report, that really grinds our gears.

Spirit Airlines.

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Spirit Airlines, a low cost airline, ranked lowest in passenger satisfaction with a measly score of 54. United Airlines, with a score of 60, must be breathing a sigh of relief. Last year, they were sitting where Spirit Airlines is today. Spirit now takes the crown as providing the most unsatisfying flying experience for its customers. Congratulations?

Why do people dislike Spirit Airlines so much? “The primary criticism of Spirit is that it nickel and dimes customers to death. Leg room is poor. Spirit charges for bags, tickets printed at the airport, water and large seats,” 24/7 Wall Street wrote.

One would think that such a poorly-reviewed airline would have troubles staying afloat, but nope — it’s doing pretty well in the travel industry. Spirit Airlines is hated, with its financial results, you wouldn’t even know it. It’s revenue last year was $1.9 billion, up 17 percent from 2013.

“The presumption about most businesses and industries is that service matters. Spirit’s success challenges that notion and wins,” 24/7 Wall Street said. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spirit is the most profitable and fastest growing U.S. airline. The airline charges its customers for ketchup packets for goodness sakes, but hey, it can get away with it because its tickets are so cheap.

“Price matters more than anything else. For many travelers, they’re just focusing on the fare,” WSJ’s Scott McCartney said.

Taking the throne for having the most satisfied customers, JetBlue Airways is crowned king. Time Money said that JetBlue can thank its introduction of its Mint Program: “The idea was to offer a lie-flat seat at a much lower price than the prevailing fares in order to court the small/medium business and upscale leisure markets.” It worked like a charm.

While customer satisfaction among air carriers increased by three percent overall, the travel sector is ranked very low in comparison to other industries, only outperforming internet service providers, subscription TV, and health insurance, CNN Money said.

What do you think? Does Spirit Airlines deserve its place at the bottom?


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