There is a lot to dislike about air travel these days. Crowded airports and cramped seats are the norm. Jostling to find room in the overhead bins is par for the course. There are new fees every day, it seems.
This may be why more fliers are flocking to certain air carriers who offer exceptional customer service. These airlines respond quickly to questions and complaints. The representatives really want to help. These are the airlines with superior customer service.
Even before Alaska Airlines bought Virgin America last year, its customer service record was stellar. In 2017, J.D. Power’s North America Airline Satisfaction Study gave the airline its highest honors for the 10th consecutive year. In 2018, after buying Virgin America and becoming the fifth largest airline in the U.S., it still managed to retain J.D. Power's high distinction. Alaska’s strong customer service reputation has been cultivated through its social media presence and dedication to its customers. The airline’s “social care agents” are available to assist customers 24/7 and pride themselves on responding to inquiries within 15 minutes.
Emirates Airlines sets a high standard when it comes to providing quality customer service. The airline’s crew is made of highly-trained professionals, who must undergo months of rigorous instruction to prepare for inflight service. Plus, as the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Emirates Airline exudes luxury. Both Business and First Class customers are treated to five-star service aboard the airline’s Deluxe Airbus A380, a plane so large it has a separate floor for its luxury passengers. Even better, all customers with First Class and Business Class tickets are treated to a private driver to and from the airport.
JetBlue Airways may rank second among low-cost carriers according to J.D. Power, but to its loyal customers, it will always be number one. JetBlue is another air carrier who has used a stellar marketing strategy to boost its availability and connection to customers. JetBlue’s Twitter account is monitored by three different teams — the marketing team, the corporate communications team and the customer commitment team. This means anytime a customer tweets @JetBlue, it becomes a customer service priority. Even more impressive, they average a 10 minute response time on Twitter, with personalized and helpful replies.
Singapore Airlines is consistently ranked as one of the best airlines in the world, thanks in large part to its exceptional customer service. In fact, SIA’s customer-focused business strategy is reflected in the company’s mission statement and values: “Our customers are in the forefront of our minds at all times. We go the extra mile to exceed their expectations.” As a result, the company has four training divisions that offer continual training services and career development for all employees. Plus, the company promotes clear communication to its customers and provides a feedback loop through customer surveys, focus groups and immediate responses to praise and complaints.
Southwest Airlines is another air carrier with a loyal following, and it’s easy to see why. It’s affordable, it doesn’t have baggage fees and, most importantly, it has a superior customer service record. The low-cost carrier was ranked number one in customer satisfaction two years in a row by J.D. Power. Flight crews on Southwest are also noticeably nicer and seem much happier than on other airlines. In fact, many are known to bust out a song or rap in lieu of the traditional safety speech prior to take-off. This may be due to the fact that Southwest is known to treat their employees very well, with 12 weeks paid maternity leave and a highly-rated 401k plan for employees. In this case, it seems that happy employees equal happy customers.