United Airlines not bad if you’re flying to Europe, new survey says. Asia? Not so much.

Chicago Tribune Finance 1 week ago

United Airlines was the lowest-ranked airline when it comes to customer satisfaction on flights between North America and Asia, according to a new J.D. Power survey, though it fared better on flights to Europe.

Customers gave Japan Airlines the highest rating among a dozen airlines flying to Asia, while Turkish Airlines earned the highest score for the dozen airlines flying to Europe. Delta Air Lines was the highest-ranked U.S. airline on both lists, coming in second among carriers connecting North America and Asia and fourth among those serving North America and Europe.

Chicago-based United matched the average score of carriers flying between North America and Europe.

The ratings assess travelers’ satisfaction with airline food and beverage, in-flight entertainment options, cost and fees, aircraft, the flight crew, check-in, boarding, immigration, baggage and reservations.

United could not immediately be reached for comment. From O’Hare, United flies routes to Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo in Asia.

While flight prices and fees play a big role in passenger satisfaction on long flights within the U.S., in-flight service like quality meals and entertainment options were more important on international flights, according to the J.D. Power study.

“Value is not the top thing, like it is on domestic flights,” said J.D. Power’s travel intelligence lead, Michael Taylor. “On a longer flight, you’re going to get hungry.”

Lower ticket prices could get people to fly an airline for the first time, but repeat customers were more likely to point to past experience with the airline, good customer service and convenient schedules as reasons for choosing a particular carrier, according to the survey.

The study was based on responses from nearly 6,300 passengers flying from North America to Europe and Asia this fall.

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