These Airlines Have the Best Customer Satisfaction in North America!

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Million Mile Secrets readers love JetBlue and Southwest!  That’s because they’re relatively cheap, and rank very high in customer satisfaction.

Southwest has replaced JetBlue as number 1 for customer satisfaction among low-cost North American airlines!

Best North American Airlines 2017
Fly to Costa Rica and Experience Top-Notch Customer Service With These 2 Low-Cost Airlines

I’ll tell you what this ranking means.  And remind you why these airlines are traveler favorites!

Best North American Airlines 2017

Link:   JD Power Rates Southwest as Best Low-Cost North American Airline

For the first time in 13 years, JetBlue is NOT the highest-ranked low cost airline in North America!

Southwest has taken the lead as the low-cost airline with the highest customer satisfaction.  The study surveyed 10,000+ travelers each year about things like airline fees, in-flight services, boarding process, baggage, flight crew, and more.

Best North American Airlines 2017
Southwest Gives You 2 Free Checked Bags. That Can Save You LOTS of Money, Especially If You’re Traveling With a Family!

Southwest wins a lot of customers because of its lack of fees for things like checked baggage and flight cancellations.  Plus, it’s gaining more fun features, like free streaming on personal devices.

That said, both airlines were neck-and-neck for the top spot,.  And Southwest scored just 4 points higher than JetBlue (out of 1,000).  And both scores were incredibly high, leaving their competitors far behind.  So no matter which airline you fly, you can expect a great experience!

Note:   Alaska Airlines was ranked #1 among “traditional” North American airlines like American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.

Million Mile Secrets Readers Love Southwest and JetBlue, Too!

It’s easy to get Big Travel with Small Money with Southwest and JetBlue.  And because both airlines are so customer friendly, Million Mile Secrets readers (and team members!) fly Southwest and JetBlue a lot!

Emily and I both love Southwest.  It’s quirky and relaxed, and I prefer them over other stiff-collared airlines like Delta and United Airlines.

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott’s favorite airline for flights around the US, Mexico, and Caribbean is JetBlue.  That’s because he values legroom, comfortable seats, live TV, and of course, an in-flight feast of Cheez-Its! 😉

Best North American Airlines 2017
JetBlue Has Noticeably More Legroom Than Other US Airlines

That said, he’s enjoyed Southwest flights as well.  Two free checked bags is a great deal, and something JetBlue does NOT have.

Here are some other ways Southwest outshines JetBlue:

1.   Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   Southwest Companion Pass

I consider the Southwest Companion Pass to be the best deal in travel.

With the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member can travel with you for nearly free on paid and award ticket for up to 2 years!

Best North American Airlines 2017
Take a Friend or Loved One on Vacation for (Almost) Free With the Southwest Companion Pass, Like Cancun!

To qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, you’ll need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year.  Which is easy, now that all 3 Chase Southwest cards have limited-time increased sign-up bonuses of 60,000 Southwest points!

2.   Co-Branded Credit Cards

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Link:   JetBlue Card

Link:   JetBlue Plus Card

Link:   JetBlue Business Card from Barclaycard

All Southwest credit cards have limited-time offers of 60,000 Southwest points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

JetBlue also has co-branded credit cards, but they have smaller sign-up bonuses (30,000 JetBlue points is the highest offer).  Plus, JetBlue points are only worth ~1.4 cents per point, while Southwest points can be worth much more!

For example, team member Joseph helped a family of 5 book a summer vacation from Oklahoma City to Orlando for just ~68,000 Southwest points.  The cash price for the same tickets was $1,240, meaning the family got a value of ~1.82 cents per Southwest point ($1,240 cash price of the flights / 68,000 Southwest points).

Best North American Airlines 2017
A Family Booked 5 Round-Trip Flights to Orlando for a Few Thousand More Southwest Points Than a Chase Southwest Credit Card Bonus!

Note:   If you’ve opened 5+ credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (with the exception of certain small business cards), Chase will NOT approve you for Southwest credit cards.

3.   Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer to Southwest

Link:   Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite points to earn.  That’s because they’re flexible, and relatively easy to earn.  And they also have great transfer partners, including Southwest at a 1:1 ratio!

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book flights for 1.5 cents per point by calling the Chase travel center at 866-951-6592.  But you can usually get a better value by transferring your points to Southwest instead!

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to JetBlue for more JetBlue points.  But Citi ThankYou points are NOT as easy to earn as Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  And the ratio is not 1:1.

There’s Always Room for Improvement!

Southwest is number 1 at the moment.  But there are still plenty of things Southwest can do to get better!  I asked you folks what Southwest can do to enhance customer experience, and y’all had quite a lot to say.

The majority of your suggestions for improving Southwest was to add Hawaii as a destination.  That’s good news, because Southwest will be adding Hawaii soon!

Best North American Airlines 2017
Southwest Plans to Begin Service to Hawaii in the Near Future

Reader Doug wishes Southwest would install TVs on the back of each seat.  And reader Jason wants free Wi-Fi on all flights.  Both of which JetBlue already offers!

Additionally, readers Laurie and Lynne wish Southwest would mix up the in-flight snacks a bit more.  Readers Jeff and Brenda would like assigned seat options.  And reader Raghav has several unique ideas for making Southwest flights feel more cozy 🙂

Bottom Line

Southwest is officially the top North American budget airline for customer satisfaction.  It has replaced JetBlue, which has received the award as number 1 for the past 12 years!

Both airlines are great, and both Million Mile Secrets readers and team members use them often!

Which airline do you prefer – Southwest or JetBlue?

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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