Southwest Airlines has been rated as the most trusted airline in the United States and the only one to make the top 10 in a recently released survey of the nation’s most trustworthy brands.
California’s The Values Institute surveyed more than 1400 people nationally and measured the trustworthiness of 40 brands in seven key industries.
Online retailer Amazon topped the list but Southwest came fifth after hotel group Marriott, software giant Microsoft and the Hilton group.
Other airlines ranked in the survey were Delta (21st), JetBlue (24th), American (27th), Alaska (29th) and United (30th).
The airlines were ranked ahead of a gaggle of auto insurers, including State Farm and Allstate, as well as fast food chain McDonald’s. They also beat retailers Walmart and Sears as well as phone companies Sprint and T-Mobile.
With the exception of Southwest, they were all ranked behind companies such as hamburger chain Wendy’s, retailer Costco, coffee vendor Starbucks and technology giants Samsung, Panasonic and Apple.
The survey looked at competence, consistency, candor, concern and connection.
Competence was an indicator of a company’s ability to efficiently and effectively meet customer expectations while consistency measured reliability, stability and dependability.
Concern, candor and connection looked at issues such as sincerity, authenticity, honesty and empathy as well the emotional connection with a brand.
Southwest was rated the highest in terms of customer satisfaction with the survey noting the low-cost carrier had worked to create a distinct personality “through everything from open passenger seating to flight attendants who sing the safety demonstrations”.
“Southwest has a fun environment and quirky culture that has proven to be (a) proficient operation in getting its travelers from point A to point B in an efficient, affordable manner,’’ it said.
The Values Institute partners with the California State University-Fullerton.