In-flight services - and not ticket prices - are the driving forces that power passenger satisfaction on international flights, the J.D. Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study found.
The findings were released last week and show that cost and fees were notably less important than in-flight services.
"A low fare may be the best way to attract a first-time international passenger, but retaining passengers on routes to Europe and Asia is all about delighting customers with great in-flight experiences," Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, said in a statement. "One of the most powerful ways to do that is with food and beverage offerings that are unique to the airline's culture and that manage to deliver flavour at altitude ... ."
The survey measured passenger satisfaction with airline carriers flying from North America to Europe and from North America to Asia. It is based on performance in nine factors (in order of average importance across both models): in-flight services; cost and fees; aircraft; flight crew; check-in; boarding; immigration; baggage; and reservation.
Among carriers flying from North America to Europe, Turkish Airlines ranks highest in passenger satisfaction with a score of 833. Virgin Atlantic (829) ranks second, while British Airways and Delta Air Lines (815) rank third in a tie.
Among carriers flying from North America to Asia, Japan Airlines ranks highest in passenger satisfaction with a score of 869. Delta Air Lines (861) ranks second and Korean Air (854) ranks third.