If there’s one thing people will tell you about flying it is that no one who’s over 10 years of age will be thrilled about it. Flying is stressful. Period. There’s no getting away from that. The harrowing experience begins with the long check in line, continues with the insipid, sorry looking meal they place in fx ront of you, and ends when you have to deal with lost baggage issues.
Considering all the mismanaged mess out there, there was bound to be a reckoning over which airline was the worst; which lost the most baggage; and which one had the maximum number of delays in any given year. Airline Quality Rating (AQR) does just that. They till you which airlines to avoid like the plague or consider only if they were the last flight out of your city during a national catastrophe. The reports are based on surveys conducted by airline industry experts and takes into various factors, such as mishandled baggage, on-time arrival, delays and involuntary denied boarding, and quality of customer service. Here are the results.
Delta Airlines was right at the top (actually, it would be right at the bottom, right) with a miserable AQR score of -1.73. Atlantic Southeast and Conair, Delta’s regional flights scored much less with -2.49 and -2.22 respectively. In addition to its pathetic score, Delta also saw the biggest drop in passenger satisfaction, as reported by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Delta had the maximum number of flights coming in late and an overwhelming amount of consumer complaints, not to mention “eye poppingly” exorbitant baggage fees. Looks like they need to revamp several policies to keep their customers happy and the business booming.
Following close on its heels is the United Airlines with an AQR Score of -1.43. It is among the three worst airlines for rude flight attendants and meals, and second in consumer complaints. Hopefully with the merger with Continental Airlines becoming official, they will be able to turn their attention to wooing their customers back with good services, better behaved attendants, and more substantial meals.
Third in line is the airline from the cold regions of Alaska. That’s my fancy introduction to Alaska Airlines, in case you didn’t get it. It has an AQR Score of -1.39, most of which is owing to the overwhelming number of reports related to mishandled baggage. However, they have a more impressive record when it comes to on-time arrivals. 88% of their record flights made it to the runway without any delays. So, who cares if you’ve lost your bags? You still make it on time to that crucial meeting on time.
The last two positions are taken up by American Airlines and US Airways, with APR scores of -1.25 and -1.19 respectively. Both of them have earned a great reputation for themselves regarding the less-than-satisfactory behavior of the flight attendants and the food they serve their hapless passengers. However, US Airways seems to be making attempts at putting their act together as indicated by the 5% improvement in passenger satisfaction.
Maybe the other airlines should take a few tips, huh?