Alaska Air Acquires The Domestic Airline With Highest Brand Ratings

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
April 06, 2016, 5:30 PM GMT+0

In winning a bidding war against JetBlue for buying Virgin America, Alaska Air receives the domestic airline with the highest brand ratings among its own customers – even higher than how Alaska Air customers rate Alaska Air.

Even more impressive, among all 25 major domestic and international airlines, Virgin America has the third highest general impression scores from its own customers, behind only Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Alaska Air comes in at number 11 on the list.

YouGov BrandIndex measured Alaska Air and Virgin America customers with its General Impression score, which asks respondents: "Do you have a general positive feeling about the brand?"

Additionally, Virgin America has dominated Alaska Air and JetBlue in satisfaction levels among their current customers for at least the last 16 months.

YouGov BrandIndex data shows that the airlines potentially compliment each other well in two key areas, which may explain why Alaska Airlines was so aggressive with its offer. For one, both airlines have very little customer crossover:

  • Only 2.4% of current Alaska Air customers have flown on Virgin America in the last 12 months.
  • 8% of current Virgin America customers have flown on Alaska Air in the last 12 months.

The deal is brings together two airlines with complimentary core age demographics.

YouGov BrandIndex’s new Profiles service shows Alaska Air customers skew older (45 to 65 years old) than Virgin America customers (18 to 44 years old). Profiles collects and connects data on demographics, attitudes and opinions, brand usage and perception, media consumption, lifestyle, and social media and digital engagement.

Impression: Each brand is rated on impression by its own customers and former customers