Southwest, JetBlue Fly High In Zagat Airline Survey

For the 20th year in a row, the people at Zagat have done a survey of passengers on the major domestic and international airlines. And by the looks of it, travelers are much more pleased with the likes of Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin than they are the old-timers like United, Delta and American.

Of the 15 categories in the survey, only two were won by U.S. airline royalty — Continental was the top-rated large domestic airline for premium seating and American was named the best value for international flights.

Meanwhile, Southwest took home five top spots — Best Consumer On-Time Estimates; Best Check-In Experience; Best Value (Domestic); Best Luggage Policy and Best Website.

JetBlue snagged two victories on the survey — Top-Rated Large Domestic Airline (Economy Seating) and Best In-Flight Entertainment (Domestic). Additionally, JetBlue had second-place finishes in the Best Luggage Policy and Best Value (Domestic) categories.

Both Virgins (America and Atlantic) made out well. The domestic upstart was lauded for both its premium and economy seating while the international Virgin won for it’s in-flight entertainment and its frequent flier program.

Mr. Zagat (his actual name; not me trying to be clever) says:

While fliers are slowly but surely returning to the skies, they remain focused on good values and reliable service… Airlines like Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue and Continental score well with surveyors for precisely this reason.

The full results are over on the Zagat site.

What do you think of these results?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.