Which airlines left Americans most satisfied in 2022?
March 1st, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Which airlines left Americans most satisfied in 2022?

Despite global demand for travel reaching its highest point since the beginning of the pandemic, 2022 was the year of unprecedented air travel chaos, for travelers across the world.

Characterized by airline staffing shortages, cancellations, delays and more than 5000 complaints to the US Department of Transportation by June 2022 alone, the already challenging year was made worse for travelers in the US by a major winter storm that swept the nation around the holiday season. However, did any airlines in the US find their way through the disruptions and still leave their customers satisfied?

As per data from Global Travel Profiles, in February 2023, 59% of Americans indicated that they plan to take a domestic and/or international trip in the next 12 months. It might then be prudent to get an insight into which airlines they still trust to get them where they want to go.

Data from YouGov BrandIndex reveals that Delta Air Lines earned the highest Net Satisfaction score between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.

The Georgia-based legacy carrier – that recently introduced ‘TakeOff 15’, a travel savings offer for Delta SkyMiles American Express Card Members - scored an average of 29.9 points during the 12-month period.

The Dallas-based Southwest airlines – which faced one of its biggest operational meltdowns in recent times – comes in a close second with a score of 29.8. American Airlines sits at a distant number three, registering a score of 22.2 points. Despite facing substantial operational disruptions through the year, the airline’s fourth quarter profits for 2022 have topped analysts’ estimates.

In fourth place, Chicago-based United Airlines registers a score of 20.9. The gap continues to widen down the list.

Honolulu-based Hawaiian Airlines (8.4), German carrier Lufthansa (8.3), and French carrier Air France (7.1) close out the top ten.

A closer look at American adults who most frequently booked Economy and/or Premium Economy seating in the past 12 months, reveals that Southwest displaces Delta Air Lines to occupy the top spot with a score of 33.5 points. Possibly, the savings offered by the low-cost carrier made up for some of the challenges faced by its budget travelers.

JetBlue airlines is significantly behind registering a score of 13.8 points, closing out the list of airlines with the top five Net Satisfaction scores among economy fliers in 2022. The Long Island City-based low-cost airline recently named NBCUniversal’s Peacock as its exclusive streaming partner. As an extension of this partnership, additional perks will be integrated into the airline’s TrueBlue loyalty program. Perhaps, this exclusive partnership might boost JetBlue’s satisfaction score over the next year.

However, Delta Air Lines reclaims its top spot scoring 27.1 points amongst travelers who most frequently flew business and/or first-class in the last year.

American Airlines sits in second with a score of 22.1, followed by United Airlines (21.7) and Southwest (14).

Washington-based Alaska Air – the first US airline to eliminate plastic cups - closes out the list of top five airlines that left their luxury fliers most satisfied in 2022, scoring 13.4 percentage points.

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. A brand’s Net Satisfaction Score is based on the question: Which of the following brands would you say that you are a satisfied/dissatisfied customer of and delivered as a net score between –100 and +100. The data is based on the interviews of US adults aged 18+ between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 with the sample size varying between 17,713 and 23,684 before any filter of travelling is applied. The figures are based on a four-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.