- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (AP) — Travelers ranked JetBlue Airways Corp. their favorite low-cost carrier and Continental Airlines Inc. the best traditional full-service carrier, according to a survey released yesterday.

Flyers value easy check-in and friendly service over such factors as in-flight meals and other amenities, according to the survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates in conjunction with Aviation Week magazine.

“All of the airlines are struggling operationally, but that doesn’t mean that passengers have to suffer, too,” Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel division at J.D. Power, said yesterday.

JetBlue received top ratings in seven areas surveyed, including costs and fees, in-flight services, check-in, flight crew and flight reservations.

Southwest Airlines came in second among low-cost carriers.

“JetBlue is true to its business model, in which it promises its passengers a comfortable seat with a television monitor, peanuts and service with a smile,” Ms. Hirneise said.

The study is based on responses from 9,334 passengers who flew on a North American airline between January and May.

Continental excelled in check-in, in-flight services and costs among the traditional segment, which includes airlines that operate multicabin planes and use multiple hubs.

Delta Air Lines Inc. was a close second to Continental in the category.

In a separate survey, travelers rated McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas top in overall satisfaction among large airports.

The airport ranked high in the areas of check-in and security checks as well as terminal facilities.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Philadelphia International Airport tied for second in the survey.

LaGuardia International Airport in New York ranked first among medium-sized airports, followed by Midway International Airport in Chicago.

Among small airports, Dallas Love Field Airport and Houston’s Hobby International Airport tied for first, followed by John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.

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