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Does United Airlines Really Have the Worst Customer Service?

Frankfurt, Germany - July 17, 2014: United Airlines aircraft logo at an aircraft in Frankfurt. United Airlines is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) described the carrier as being “beleaguered by customer service issues.” Out of a possible score of 100, the carrier earned just 67 points. However, Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue pipped the top three spots in terms of customer satisfaction.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a nationwide report used as an indicator of consumer satisfaction, has revealed its most recent rankings for the airline industry. While these results are, on the whole, a mixed bag, the Chicago Business Journal observes that, when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, United Airlines has taken a notable tumble in the rankings this year.

Based on data collected from 12,172 customer surveys taken between April 18, 2017 and March 18, 2018, it has been revealed that out of a potential ASCI score of 100, United received a score of 67. Last year, the carrier received an ACSI score of 70.

It has also been revealed that United ranked eighth out of the ten carriers mentioned in this year’s survey, which described the airline as being “beleaguered by customer service issues” as of late. Quoting an extract of the survey, the outlet reports that, “United employees are not the worst-rated in the industry, but they do show the sharpest decline for courtesy and helpfulness.”

While United hasn’t fared well in terms of its overall customer service, Southwest AirlinesAlaska Airlines and JetBlue have come out ahead in this year’s ACSI rankings, with scores of 80, 79 and 79. It is worth noting that, while JetBlue has dropped three notches in this year’s report, the carrier still ranks well in terms of overall customer satisfaction.

Low-cost carrier Allegiant also fared well, with an ACSI score of 74. This is up three points from a score of 71 last year.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines received a score of 74; the two carriers both dropped two notches from 76 points in last year’s survey. Rounding out the bottom were Frontier and Spirit Airlines, who each received a score of 62.

In a statement, ACSI said, “All but four of the largest airlines saw passenger satisfaction decline in the past year…With the exception of the airline check-in process … every aspect of flying deteriorated in 2018 compared with the prior year.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
jrpallante April 26, 2018

People tend to remember one bad experience and forget the 99 times they traveled with no troubles whatsoever. The effect is amplified by a media driven by sensationalism. I regularly fly all the major carriers, and I find no significant differences in the level of service.

AAdamE April 26, 2018

I bet that with having no information on the flying history of those who filled out the survey, you are exactly right!

Irpworks April 26, 2018

For me, Continental was great. United has been bad but American far worse.

Monking April 26, 2018

I wonder why Asian and Gulf airlines have the best customer service practices while US airlines have the worst? It’s common knowledge that anyone who experienced International travel can see the value of flying with airlines such as Emirates, Etihad etc compared to United, Delta, American etc.

am1108 April 26, 2018

+1 privacylawyer ... While United has gotten better a lot of agents are still not warm or welcoming when you approach them or at least in my case. All in all I do hope that someday soon United can succeed and finally start beating rivals in customer service, operations and other areas...