Survey finds US airline customers a little happier, but not much

ANN ARBOR, MI

David VanAmburg, managing director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, says airline satisfaction this year is up three percent from last year, but still only at 67 on a scale of 100. He says that's "dismal" as far as customer satisfaction goes.

VanAmburg says one big issue is all the new and increased fees airlines have imposed on travelers, especially baggage fees. He says customers don't take kindly to paying more when they don't perceive any new or improved service.

In the current tight economy, airline customer satisfaction is most closely tied to cost. Consequently, low-fare carriers including JetBlue and Southwest got the highest ratings, while the big legacy carriers such as American, Delta and United were at the bottom.

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