I’m not a Spirit flyer. Heck, I barely show spirit in my real life, much less my flying life. In fact, I’ve only taken one round-trip flight on Spirit and it was enough to get me to vow never to take Spirit ever again. While they may sell you on their “no-frills means low costs” ethos, I’d prefer to fly an airline that doesn’t treat me like cargo. So would other people.
That’s why Spirit Airlines has landed at the very bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index with a score of 54 out of 100. That’s an F in any classroom in the world. Ouch.
The ACSI pulls data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers every year and analyzes customer satisfaction for over 300 companies across 43 industries and 10 economic sectors. One of those industries is the airline industry.
While the results of the ACSI follow fairly closely with what I would predict in terms of airline customer satisfaction, there were some surprises on the 2015 report. United, one of the biggest carriers in the US, did terribly rating only slightly higher than Spirit and Frontier. Allegiant, another low-cost carrier and one not known for their frills, actually scored better than United. Not so friendly skies, huh, United?
JetBlue took the top spot, as they have in every year that they’ve been ranked (since 2012), but I was surprised to see Alaska at #3. I mean, sure, they’ve got pancake robots in their lounges, but that’s apparently just a small piece of how they’re pleasing their customers.
In terms of other legacy carriers, American and Delta seemed to be locked up tightly in the middle. Some years, American winds up on top, other years it’s Delta. For the past two years, though, Delta’s been up by five points each year. I wonder what’s causing that disparity. Why did Delta start pleasing its customers more while American has backslid? I’d love to know the answer.
Are there any other results that surprised you? Take a look below. Here’s the full chart of results from the ACSI:
Chart via the American Consumer Satisfaction Index