Press Release Headlines

Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines Lead Industry in Customer Experience According to New Temkin Group Research

Third Annual Temkin Experience Ratings Evaluates 246 Companies Across 19 Industries

WABAN, Mass., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines earned the top spots in the airline sector of the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. At the other end of the spectrum, US Airways was the lowest rated company across all 246 firms. American Airlines, which recently merged with US Airways, had the second lowest rating in the industry.

"The merger between American Airlines and US Airways has the potential to become a mega-monster if the new firm doesn't aggressively improve its customer experience," states Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

The Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates three areas of customer experience: functional (can customers do what they want to do), accessible (how easy it is to work with the company), and emotional (how consumers feel about their interactions).

The 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings includes nine airlines: AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways.

Here are some additional findings from the research:

  • The average industry rating remains steady at 60% (in 2012, it was 61%, and in 2011, it was 60%).
  • The highest-ranked airlines are Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines, both with a rating of 68%, eight points above the industry average. Alaska Airlines increased five points from 2012 while Southwest Airlines dropped five points.
  • The next airlines in the ratings, in order, are: AirTran Airways (65%), JetBlue (64%), and Delta Airlines (63%).
  • Delta Airlines improved five points from the 2012 ratings, tying it for the largest gain in the industry.
  • JetBlue has an unusually emotional profile. The airline's emotional rating is almost eight percentage points above the industry average, but its functional and accessible ratings are less than three points above average.
  • Southwest Airlines leads in functional and accessible components and Alaska Airlines leads in the emotional rating.
  • US Airways (#246 overall, the lowest rated company) earned a rating of 45%, nine points behind the next lowest scoring American Airlines.
  • US Airways had the largest drop since 2012, seven percentage points, and earned the lowest score for all three subcomponents: functional, accessible, and emotional.

The 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings along with other ratings can be accessed at the Temkin Ratings website,

The report "2013 Temkin Experience Ratings" can be downloaded for free from the Customer Experience Matters® blog, at as well as from the Temkin Group website,

About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world's largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys. Temkin Group combines customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of organizations to help accelerate results. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The firm's ongoing research identifies leading and emerging best practices across a wide range of activities for engaging the hearts and minds of customers, employees, and partners. For more information, contact Bruce Temkin at 617-916-2075 or send an Email.

About Bruce Temkin: Bruce Temkin is widely recognized as a customer experience thought leader and is Customer Experience Transformist and Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is also the author of a very popular blog, Customer Experience Matters® ( Prior to forming Temkin Group, he was a VP at Forrester Research for 12 years. Bruce is a highly demanded speaker who consistently receives high marks for his content-rich, entertaining keynote addresses. He is also the co-founder and Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of customer experience management.

Customer experience matters is a registered trademark of Temkin Group.