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Sunday, July 7, 2013

JAL ranks No. 3 in AB-ROAD's "Airlines Satisfaction Survey 2013"

AB-ROAD, a travel website in Japan, released the results of its "Airlines Satisfaction Survey 2013". This is a survey targeting the overseas travelers in Japan. 5,958 people over 18 who had traveled overseas in 2012 were invited to participate in this survey and it has received 4,187 valid responses. The overall ranking of the 40 airlines was based on individual results from the following categories:

  1. Aircraft equipments
  2. Hospitality of the cabin crew
  3. Hospitality of the airport ground staff 
  4. Inflight catering
  5. Inflight entertainment

In each category, participants were asked to rank the airlines from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most satisfy. Below is the full survey results.

Overall Ranking

The average scores of the 40 carriers were 3.77, up from the previous year's 3.75. However, the average score of the top 20 carriers remained at 3.99, unchanged from the previous year. This means the overall improvements are from the bottom performers. Below is the top 10 overall rankings.

 2013   2012   2011  Airlines  Score   Change 
 1  1  2  Singapore Airlines  4.34  +0.01
 2  2  1  Emirates  4.26  +0.07
 3  6  17  Japan Airlines  4.16  +0.11
 4  11  12  Turkish Airlines  4.10  +0.15
 5  3  3  All Nippon Airways  4.08  -0.08
 6  17  18  Eva Air  4.07  +0.21
 7  14  7  Qatar Airways  4.05  +0.14
 8  -  -  Etihad Airways  4.04  -
 9  19  11  KLM Royal Dutch Airlines   4.02  +0.17
 10  -  -  Peach Aviation  4.01  -


48.0%, 38.0%, and 14.0% of the participants rated Singapore Airlines 5/5, 4/5, and 3/5 respectively. The numbers for JAL were 28.0%, 61.0%, and 10.0%, and those for ANA were 30.5%, 50.0% and 18.0%. Overall a good improvement for JAL but there were still quite a gap in the most satisfied category between Singapore Airlines and JAL.

Aircraft Equipments

Overall, 56.1% of the participants were satisfied with the equipments, with over 30% of people citing cabin cleanliness, updated cabin and seat comfort as the reasons. Interestingly the top reason for unsatisfied rating is also due to seat comfort. The average scores of the 40 carriers were 3.59, up from the previous year's 3.54. The average score of the top 10 carriers was 3.94, up from previous year's 3.92. Below is the top 10 overall rankings.


 2013  2012  2011 Airlines Score  Change 
 1 1 2 Singapore Airlines 4.20 +0.07
 1 2 1 Emirates 4.20 +0.08
 3 - - Etihad Airways 4.05 -
 4 14 10 Turkish Airlines 3.90 +0.17
 5 4 11 Lufthansa German Airlines 3.89 -0.08
 6 7 4 All Nippon Airways 3.86 +0.02
 7 13 12 Eva Air 3.85 +0.11
 7 3 3 Qatar Airways 3.85 -0.13
 9 11 5 Japan Airlines 3.82 +0.05
 10 - 7 Swiss International Air Lines  3.81 -

In this category, only 18.0%, 49%, and 30.0% of the participants rated JAL 5/5, 4/5, and 3/5 respectively. This compares to ANA's 25.0%, 43.0%, and 27.0%, Singapore Airlines' 37.0%, 50.0%, and 10.0%, and Emirates' 41.0%, 42.0%, and 13.0%. Hopefully the new cabins from the JAL New Sky Project, especially the award winning JAL SKY SUITE, will improve JAL's rating in this category next year given the survey was based on the older products in 2012. Also will be interesting to see if ANA's new 9-abreast Economy Class on long-haul 787 would lower its ranking in the coming years too.

Hospitality of Cabin Crew

Overall, 61.2% of the participants were satisfied with the cabin crew. The average scores of the 40 carriers were 3.67, down from the previous year's 3.68. The average score of the top 10 carriers was 4.02, up from previous year's 4.00. Below is the top 10 overall rankings.


 2013  2012  2011 Airlines Score  Change 
 1 1 1 Singapore Airlines 4.20 -0.07
 2 8 2 Emirates 4.14 +0.18
 3 3 8 Japan Airlines 4.12 +0.11
 4 2 3 All Nippon Airways 4.05 +0.03
 5 13 18 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 3.97 +0.12
 5 - 4 Swiss International Air Lines  3.97 -
 7 18 16 Eva Air 3.96 +0.21
 8 6 5 Finnair 3.95 -0.02
 9 18 10 Malaysia Airlines 3.93 +0.18
 10 15 22 Turkish Airlines 3.92 +0.10

In this category, 26.0%, 61.0%, and 12.0% of the participants gave JAL a 5/5, 4/5, and 3/5 rating. This compares to Singapore Airlines' 40.0%, 45.0% and 11.0%, and ANA's 29.0%, 49.0%, and 20.0%.

Hospitality of Airport Ground Staff

59.4% of the participants were satisfied with the airport ground staffs, with 59.2% of them cited smooth check-in and checked luggage experience as the main reason for their rating. The average score for the 40 airlines rose 0.02 points to 3.64 while the top 10 average also rose 0.02 point to 3.93 this year.


 2013  2012  2011 Airlines Score  Change 
 1 2 2 Japan Airlines 4.09 +0.11
 2 1 3 Singapore Airlines 4.08 +0.05
 3 4 1 All Nippon Airways 4.04 +0.13
 4 - 3 Swiss International Air Lines  3.94 -
 5 15 16 Lufthansa German Airlines 3.92 +0.20
 6 17 23 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 3.88 +0.17
 7 10 12 Eva Air 3.85 +0.05
 7 9 6 Emirates 3.85 -0.01
 9 4 14 Thai Airways International 3.82 -0.09
 10 7 7 Finnair 3.81 -0.06

JAL beat Singapore Airlines by a narrow margin in this category. However, overall, Singapore Airlines still received more 5/5 rating than JAL. 25.0%, 60.0% and 14.0% of the participants rated JAL airport ground staffs 5/5, 4/5, and 3/5 respectively. While Singapore Airlines percentages were 36.0%, 41.0%, and 19.0%, and ANA's were 29.0%, 48.0%, and 21.0%.

Inflight Catering

Only full service carriers were included in this category. 61.3% of the participants were satisfied with the inflight catering. The top reasons for this rating were taste, followed by meal portion. Surprisingly none of the Japanese carriers made it to the top 10 in this category. Out of the 35 airlines, the average scores rose 0.03 points to 3.63 this year. However, the top 10 average score remained unchanged at 3.95 this year.


 2013  2012  2011 Airlines Score  Change 
 1 1 2 Singapore Airlines 4.18 +0.13
 2 4 1 Emirates 4.06 +0.06
 3 - - Etihad Airways 3.97 -
 4 9 13 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 3.95 +0.12
 5 2 9 Turkish Airlines 3.94 -0.10
 6 14 6 Air France 3.92 +0.15
 6 3 4 Qatar Airways 3.92 -0.10
 8 6 8 Lufthansa German Airlines 3.86 -0.05
 9 19 23 Eva Air 3.84 +0.14
 9 - 3 Swiss International Air Lines  3.84 -

Let's see if the new "BEDD - SKY AUBERGE by JAL" in premium cabins and JAL KITCHEN GALLERY in Economy cabins will improve JAL's performance in the next year.

Inflight Entertainment

Some LCCs were excluded from this category. Out of the 37 airlines left, the average score rose 0.08 points to 3.44 this year. However, the top 10 average score dropped 0.08 point to 3.79 this year. So sounds like the main improvements came from the bottom performers this time. Only 50.2% of the participants were satisfied with the inflight entertainment. The top 2 reasons for satisfactory ratings were movie and TV contents and the number of movie and TV choices. Inflight wi-fi didn't even make it to the top 5 reasons.


 2013  2012  2011 Airlines Score  Change 
 1 2 2 Singapore Airlines 4.09 -0.06
 2 1 1 Emirates 4.06 -0.16
 3 3 4 Qatar Airways 3.95 -0.06
 4 5 9 Japan Airlines 3.83 -0.04
 5 12 8 Turkish Airlines 3.77 +0.22
 6 - - Etihad Airways 3.73 -
 7 4 3 Virgin Atlantic 3.72 -0.27
 8 8 5 All Nippon Airways 3.67 -0.08
 9 10 11 Air France 3.65 -0.01
 10 9 19 Eva Air 3.62 -0.07
 10 15 13 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines  3.62 +0.15

The ratings breakdown for JAL in this category was 13.0%, 60.0% and 24.0% for 5/5, 4/5, and 3/5 respectively. This compares to Singapore Airlines' 36.0%, 41.0%, and 19.0%, and ANA's 25.0%, 34.0%, 26.0%. Maybe adding more contents to JAL Mooove! would help the rating in this category. Right now the choice is rather limited if you don't watch Japanese movies and TV programs. 

For the full survey result, you can refer to the press release from AB-ROAD (Japanese only). If you are interested, here is the top 10 carriers back in 2009.


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