Aug. 15 (UPI) -- JetBlue Airways' frequent-flier program rated highest in a J.D. Power survey released on Wednesday, which said half of airline loyalty plan users are unaware of how they work.
JetBlue's TrueBlue program led the annual J.D. Power 2018 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction Study with 812 of a possible 1,000 points. It was followed by rewards programs of Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines, each of which scored above the industry average of 776 points. JetBlue led last year's survey and posted a higher score in 2018.
The report noted that figures for each airline program improve when customers understand how to redeem points for future flights. Half of loyalty program members say they do not completely understand the redemption process and its available rewards, a J.D. Power news release said.
"Airlines have worked hard over the past several years to demonstrate the value of their loyalty programs, particularly to general members," Michael Taylor, J.D. Power's travel practice lead, said. "While those efforts are paying off in the form of improved overall satisfaction scores, airlines have a huge opportunity to improve when it comes to customers' ease of understanding the rewards program. JetBlue does very well in this area, though, across the industry, it's only happening about half the time."
Points are awarded to customers for each flight, which can be redeemed for additional travel or upgrades to first-class sections on flights. The survey said that across the industry, 74 percent of points are saved for larger rewards, while 13 percent are quickly redeemed for discounts or upgrades.
The survey is based on 3,025 responses from frequent-flier program members to questions asked in May and June of 2018, J.D. Power said.