Continental Airlines

Southwest and Continental Score Highest with Employees

2008-11-26 08:12:47
For anyone who has ever traveled by plane, you know that sometimes there seems to be no getting around a delayed flight or avoiding an unfortunate loss in luggage. But what we also know is it’s the people who work for the airlines that can make the hassles during our travels just a little bit easier.
With Thanksgiving just a day away, the airports are expected to be a little more hectic than usual. So with that in mind, we wanted to find out what airline employees thought were the best carriers to work for and see if it ranks even to JD Power’s airline customer satisfaction ratings. And does a happy airline employee mean a happy customer?

In terms of employee satisfaction, Southwest ranked the highest low-cost airline and Continental received top score as traditional network leader. But when it comes to customer satisfaction, JD Power reports that JetBlue ranks #1 for low-cost airlines and Alaska takes the lead as the traditional network airline. As we dug deeper into our airline employee reviews and ratings, we found four of the airlines (Alaska, JetBlue, Northwest and Southwest) had Glassdoor ratings that were significantly different than their JD Power ratings.  Although JD Power gave JetBlue and Alaska Airlines perfect scores, workers gave them neutral scores.

Low Cost Airlines Comparison

Company GD Overall Rating (High = 5; Low = 1) JD Power Overall Score(High = 5; Low = 1) Difference
Southwest Airlines




JetBlue Airways *JD Power Low Cost Winner*




Frontier Airlines




AirTran Airways





Traditional Network Airlines Comparison

Company GD Overall Rating(High = 5; Low = 1) JD Power Overall Score(High = 5; Low = 1) Difference
Continental Airlines




Delta Air Lines




Northwest Airlines




US Airways




Air Canada




Alaska Airlines *JD Power Traditional Network Winner*




American Airlines




United Airlines




To help show why Southwest and Continental rate so highly by employees check out some of these comments:

Continental Airlines

CEO Larry Kellner’s Approval Rating: 77%

Pros: Best reasons to work for Continental are the Benefits, Work Schedule and People I work with!!

Cons: Schedules change every month and base on senority you may have to work Holidays. However, there is always a way to change your schedule to hold days off. Dealing with Passengers who are not familar with the rules of the airline industry and become confrontational is hard to deal with. Carry on baggage has been an issue during boarding. Also having to deal with cramped seating during a long, full flight.”

Pros: I see the world and get paid for it. Most of my coworkers are fantastic people and we have a lot of fun working together. I’m a reserve flight attendant which is what every flight attendant will be the first few years so you never know what you’re going to fly. Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it can make you crazy.

Cons: Being on reserve and dealing with crew scheduling. Reserve life is like being back in college. There are days you will just sit around and wonder if you’re going on a trip and then there are times when you’re used so much you just sleep on your layover and relax.”

Southwest Airlines

CEO Gary Kelly’s Approval Rating: 89%

Pros: Southwest is the “Disneyland” of the airline industry. Our corporate structure and business model reflect excellency and efficiency within the industry. We at Southwest are proud to work for a company that cares as much about its employees as our customers. It shows in the way we do business. Our moral is high, due to excellent leadership and the high standards we hold, regardless our position within the company. Management is excellent as well. Communication and a healhty, happy work environment add to our happiness as well as job security. Our benefits are the best; our compensation above average. No wonder we are known as the “LUV” airline!

Cons: I see no downside of working at Southwest. I am grateful to work in a time when so many are unemployed.”

Pros: This is a company that TRULY puts its Employees first and puts a lot of effort towards maintaining a fun-loving attitude in the workplace. Not only does the company know how to have a good time, but they are extremely supportive in helping you find the department and position which truly suit you best and serve your interests.

Cons: The only downside I can think of is that the salaries might be a little lower than market average, but I believe that is more than offset by the level of job security and the extremely generous benefits packages offered.”

It’s not all too surprising to see why the employees at these two airlines speak so favorably of the company. However, we discovered that working at an airline is not for the faint of heart — it was common for employees to mention the well-known cyclical nature of the industry.

At the end of the day winning a JD Power customer satisfaction award does not automatically equal out to winning employee support.   So for those packing their bags and getting ready to hit the runway, keep in mind that golden rule because you just never know when a happy employee may in turn mean a happier you.

Categories: In the News Reviews

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