11:45 am June 19, 2012, by Christopher Seward
Is Southwest Airline’s merger with Orlando-based AirTran hurting the Texas-based carrier’s reputation for top-notch customer service?
The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index would suggest so. The 2012 results knock Southwest from the top spot to No. 2, behind JetBlue.
Dallas-based Southwest, which is in the process of folding AirTran’s operations into its system, had led the customer service survey for 18 years. JetBlue, which has its biggest presence in the Northeast, also beat Southwest in customer satisfaction in a recent J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study of low-cost carriers.
As an Associated Press report points out, Southwest is facing a challenge folding AirTran’s operations into its system and has even delayed plans for traveler connections between Southwest and AirTran flights because of baggage fees charged by AirTran and not by Southwest. A Southwest spokesman said the companies are “moving through the process” of combining operations.
AirtTran is the 2nd largest carrier serving Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport behind Delta, which improved in both the ACSI and J.D. Powers surveys.
Do you think Southwest will regain its top spot? Which carrier provides the best customer service?
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