Consumers who are likely travelers had a much more overall favorable experience with domestic airlines this past holiday season, with Virgin America swapping places with Southwest Airlines to take the top spot in YouGov BrandIndex’s annual holiday travel satisfaction rankings.
While Virgin America takes the top spot, it also took the largest drop in satisfaction during the time period. Last year, the airline experienced a drop of more than twelve points during the holiday season, suggesting that the airline experienced problems during the holiday crunch in both years, but perhaps handled them better this time around.
During the past 90 days, YouGov BrandIndex surveyed consumers 18 and over who anticipate taking an airline trip either somewhat likely, likely or very likely over the next year. To determine satisfaction, respondents are asked: “Are you a satisfied customer?”
The Satisfaction score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.
Most domestic airlines made significant satisfaction level gains, compared to last year, when three airlines out of 10 airlines took substantial drops.
The biggest reversal of fortune came for JetBlue: last year, the New York-based carrier lost 11 points during the 2014 holiday season. This year, not only did JetBlue gain nine points during the same time frame, but they moved up to third place, displacing Alaska Air.