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Air Canada Beats U.S. Competitors in Satisfaction Study—WestJet Not So Much

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Matt Thorpe

A study just released by marketing firm J.D. Power and Associates indicates an overall decrease in customer satisfaction with “traditional” airlines in the past year and, among other data, reveals that travellers hate first-checked-bag fees and love mobile check-in.

Surprising to many Canadians might be that compared to other traditional airlines in the study (all in the U.S.) Air Canada received the highest rating for aircraft experience, service and cost and fees. Though it was among the lowest-rated for reservations and check-in, overall it scored exceptionally well, coming in just behind the top airline, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air.

In the low-cost carrier category, WestJet didn’t fare so well, tying for last place in overall satisfaction with Airtran and Southwest and receiving low marks in most categories. A notable exception: staff experience, where WestJet was given the highest score possible, beating the top award winner JetBlue.

Air Canada and WestJet were the only two Canadian airlines included in the study, which surveyed more than 13,500 passengers who travelled on North American airlines between May 2011 and April 2012.

See all the airline ratings.

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