Travelers ranked JetBlue Airways Corp. their favorite low-cost carrier and Continental Airlines Inc. the best traditional full-service carrier, according to a survey released Thursday.
Fliers value easy check-in and friendly service over such factors as in-flight meals and other amenities, according to the survey conducted by J.D. Power & Associates in conjunction with Aviation Week magazine.
"All of the airlines are struggling operationally, but that doesn't mean that passengers have to suffer too," Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel division at J.D. Power, said in a statement Thursday.
JetBlue received top ratings in seven areas surveyed, including costs and fees, in-flight services, check-in, flight crew and flight reservations.
Southwest Airlines Co. came in second among low-cost carriers.
"JetBlue is true to its business model, in which it promises its passengers a comfortable seat with a television monitor, peanuts and service with a smile," Hirneise said.
The study is based on responses from 9,334 passengers who flew on a North American airline from January to May.
Continental excelled in check-in, in-flight services and costs among the traditional segment, which includes airlines that operate multi-cabin planes and use multiple hubs.
In a separate survey, travelers rated McCarran International in Las Vegas top in overall satisfaction among large airports. It ranked high in check-in, security checks and terminal facilities.
John F. Kennedy International in New York and Philadelphia International tied for second. Los Angeles International ranked 13th in the survey.