Survey: Airlines reduce delays, improve baggage handling

Airlines’ on-time performance and baggage handling have improved over the past year, leading to better passenger satisfaction, according to a new report.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines came in fourth out of nine carriers scored in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is based on interviews with customers. Delta’s score suggests “it has emerged from its acquisition of Northwest and no longer faces customer service issues due to organizational coordination problems,” according to the ACSI report released Monday morning.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, took the No. 2 position behind JetBlue in the No. 1 spot. “Southwest appears to have successfully managed its AirTran acquisition, but its expansion into international travel may cause some turbulence ahead,” according to a written statement from ACSI chairman Claes Fornell.

Overall, airlines have improved their score by two points to 71, the highest score since 1994, according to the report.

American Customer Satisfaction Index.

1. JetBlue. Score: 81

2. Southwest. Score: 78

3. Alaska. Score: 75

4. Delta. Score: 71

5. American. Score: 66

6. Allegiant. Score: 65

7. United. Score: 60

8. Frontier. Score: 58

9. Spirit. Score: 54

All other carriers. Score: 73

Scores on a scale of 1 to 100.