Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Surveys Travelers Ahead of Busy Summer Travel Season

NBC Universal, Inc.

Airline travel is back to pre-pandemic levels, with predictions of summer travel breaking all-time records. With so many things out of our control, from weather to staffing issues to lost baggage, does choosing an airline really make a difference? Consumer Reports' latest survey reveals the airlines that rank highest for customer satisfaction.

Consumer Reports surveyed over 17,000 of its members about nearly 33,000 flights, asking about everything from ease of check-in to delays, cleanliness, and price. 

Hawaiian Airlines was the airline with the top overall satisfaction score for economy travel. The big three — American, Delta, and United — were in the middle, and Frontier Airlines was at the bottom of the list.

And it’s no surprise that the members who took business- or first-class flights were more satisfied than those who flew coach, where travelers’ top gripe related to airline seats. 

In coach, 26% reported either being uncomfortable, booked in the wrong seat, or not able to sit with family.

And 20% of travelers had gripes related to flight schedules, things like delays, reschedules, and cancellations. Yet most people surveyed did not formally complain to the airline.

Whatever your air travel issues, it’s important to log complaints with the airline while you are still at the airport. If you’re stranded, you may be owed meals or a hotel room, or even money if you’ve bumped from your flight. 

You can visit the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection website for a list of what each airline offers in the event of a controllable delay or cancellation.

Breeze Airways and Hawaiian Airlines were both rated excellent for cabin cleanliness—less so on Frontier Airlines, which was rated subpar.

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