NetBase Report Reveals Jet Blue, United and American Airlines as Social Media’s Most Highly Ranked Airlines

SANTA CLARA, CA – March 6, 2017 – NetBase, a global leader in enterprise social analytics, today released its 2017 NetBase Airline Report, which analyzes the top social trends and overall social performances of 60 select airline brands across social channels in 2016. According to this year’s report, Jet Blue, United and American Airlines scored the highest overall on Social Rank, whereas Korean Air, Aeromexico and Asiana Airlines scored among the lowest amongst all brands.

Read the full NetBase Airline Report online here:

The NetBase Airline Report determined Social Rank according to four key criteria: volume of conversation, awareness (as a measure of earned impressions), reach (a measure of owned impressions), Net Sentiment, and Brand Passion. Indexing and social ranking is an average measure of actual position for each metric, with the largest, most positive, or most passionate brands ranking first. Given that many of these brands originated outside of the United States, the Airline Report analyzes brands in all languages of communication.

Unlike other traditional brand rankings, The NetBase Airline Report breaks down customer experiences as a category and examines the top trends and overall performances of airline brands using the following metrics:

  • In-flight Comforts/Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Cancellations and (Emotional) Baggage
  • Travel Search Engines
  • Rewards Programs
  • Airline Love List—the most intensely loved brands

“The NetBase Airline Report proves that consumers are willing to share every step of their journey on social media, from the check-in process to their in-flight experiences. More importantly, the report highlights the key elements that define a positive travel experience,” said Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer at NetBase. “Social media is an endless well of consumer emotion, experience and opinion. As such, it’s important to consider both the sentiment and passions of these posts in order to truly connect to travelers and understand their unique needs.”

Key findings from The NetBase Airline Report include:

    • The Airline “Love List”: While Jet Blue was the highest performing airline according to overall Social Rank, United was the most intensely loved brand according to positive net sentiment.
    • First Class is an Experience, Not Just a Seat: Customers who didn’t purchase first-class tickets still shared their “first-class” experiences via social media. This especially held true for Southwest passengers, as the airline does not have a first class cabin.
    • Legroom is Overrated: In 2016, passengers discussed in-flight comforts such as food, amenities, pillows, etc. on social media more than legroom. Additionally, when comparing the share of voice between legroom and seats, more than 95 percent of social conversations focused on seat qualities (location, size, comfort, etc.).
    • Baggage, Ticketing, and Delays: Lost baggage elicits the most passionate discussion on social media, while cancellations and delays represent the bulk of all social conversations. The most positively mentioned airlines in regards to baggage, ticketing and delays were Virgin America, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines.
    • Kayak is the King of Travel Search: Kayak scored the highest overall net sentiment of all travel search engines, while Priceline had the most negative customer conversation.

About NetBase

NetBase is the award-winning social analytics platform that global companies use to run brands, build businesses, and connect with consumers every second. Its platform processes millions of social media posts daily for actionable business insights for marketing, research, customer service, sales, PR, and product innovation. NetBase is a trusted partner to American Airlines, Arby’s, Coca-Cola, Ogilvy, T-Mobile, Universal Music Group, Walmart, and YUM! Brands. Learn more at or @NetBase. See your brand’s social movement in real-time with NetBase LIVE Pulse™.

Media Contact

Kiley Nichols