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Passengers are learning to accept airline bag fees, survey finds

May 15, 2013|By Hugo Martin

Baggage fees are still a source of anger, but passengers are more accepting of them, according to a survey on airline satisfaction.

In fact, overall satisfaction with air travel has increased to the highest level since 2006, according to the J.D. Power & Associates airline satisfaction study for 2013.

Airline satisfaction improved to 695 points on a 1,000-point scale, up 14 points from 2012, according to the study, which measured satisfaction on such factors as cost, in-flight services, boarding and flight crew.

The gap in overall satisfaction between passengers who pay for baggage and those who do not pay narrowed to 63 points in 2013, compared with a gap of 85 points in 2012 and 100 points in 2011, according to the survey of more than 11,800 passenger.

"Charging for bags still has a pronounced negative impact on passenger satisfaction, but with each year, passengers are increasingly more accepting of carriers unbundling baggage and other fees," said Ramez Faza, a senior manager at J.D. Power & Associates.

Alaska Airlines received the highest ranking among traditional airlines, with JetBlue getting the highest score among low-cost carriers, according to the survey.

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