Southwest airlines 2011
Airlines maintained their low overall standing among a variety of industries included in the American
Customer Satisfaction Index, which is compiled by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.
"There's been a bubbling discontent for airlines for some time but the situation has worsened slightly
from a year ago," said ACSI managing director David VanAmburg.
Passenger satisfaction with airlines dropped by 1.5 percent to a score of 65 on ACSI's 100-point scale.
Scores have generally hovered in the mid-to-low 60s for the past decade.
Travelers cited poor service, higher prices and fees for baggage and other services as the main causes of
Airlines have raised fares and fees to counter soaring fuel costs and preserve a fragile financial recovery.
Southwest continues to outperform rivals with consumers, according to the survey of 2,000 consumers.
southwest, swa, klm airlines, exp, ecotour
The low-fare carrier posted an ACSI score of 81 in part because it has not taken anything away from
customers and then offered it back for a fee, VanAmburg said.
Southwest heavily promotes its policy of not charging for bags.
Among Southwest's main rivals, Continental scored 64, American 63, United (UAL.N) and US Airways
(LCC.N) tied at 61 and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) dropped to 56 on the ACSI scale. American Airlines
(AMR.N) was unchanged at 63.
All other carriers, which include smaller lower-fare and service-oriented businesses, posted a 76, a 1.3
A red flag for airlines in the latest survey is the dissatisfaction of business travelers, who the industry
courts relentlessly and depends on for its highest fares.
"We're seeing a greater discontent among business travelers simply because they are putting
themselves out there more to be let down by the airlines or an experience," said VanAmburg.
Recent mergers, known to have a detrimental affect on satisfaction and geared specifically to attract
more business travel, pose added pressure.
Delta plunged to the bottom of all the airlines for customer satisfaction one year after completing its
acquisition of Northwest, ACSI reported. In celebration of its 40th Anniversary, Southwest Airlinesis
teaming up with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) for the Conservation In Action Tour: 40
Projects for 40 Years to take their commitment to volunteerism and their passion for conservation on
the road, literally!
Students from the SCA will travel from coast to coast in a custom-designed Southwest Airlines biodiesel
RV. During the summer-long tour, the RV will stop in 25 cities, joining Southwest Employees and
community members in conservation projects across the country.
“This is the perfect way to celebrate our 40th Anniversary,” said Southwest Airlines Chairman of the
Board, President, and CEO Gary Kelly. “Volunteering and giving back is something that our People do
year round. It’s our way of saying thank you to the communities that have given so much to us!”
SCA is a nonprofit organization that provides individuals aged 15-25 with hands-on conservation service
opportunities. Their members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural
landmarks, and community green spaces in all 50 states.
“SCA is proud to join Southwest Airlines in spreading the word and the practice of hands-on
conservation,” said SCA President Dale M. Penny. “These projects will generate immediate benefits to
the communities we visit, and in the long-term they will promote ongoing stewardship and
sustainability. That’s a real win-win for all.”