(KYMA, KECY/ CBS) - The pandemic days of extra room and more attention on planes are over. Flight demand is up and a new study from J.D. Power finds airline passenger satisfaction is down. "Airplanes are becoming full again and that tends to make satisfaction go down," says Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality & retail at J.D. Power.
Jet Blue scored the top spot for first or business class and for premium economy. Southwest led customer satisfaction in the economy segment.
Other airlines have room for improvement. "The things they probably need to work on are improving the comfort of the aircraft in all cabin classes and working on people skills to make people feel less like cattle and more like valued passengers."
This study comes as carriers and airports gear up for the busy summer travel season, which is expected to see pre-pandemic passenger volume. "We expect this to be a busy summer and we are as ready as we possibly can be. We're likely going to exceed in some airports, by good measure, the 2019 numbers," says TSA Administrator David Pekoske. The Transportation Security Administration says it is staffed up and also investing in new technology to help speed up the process for those summer vacations.
Airfares are also rising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, airfares rose 33.3% over the last year, the largest 12 month increase since 1980.