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WSJ's annual airline scorecard

bnoble

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The complete article is probably paywalled; I'm a subscriber, so I'm not sure how much is public. But here is the link:

The Leader in Lost Bags, Canceled Flights - WSJ.com

Methodology:

The Middle Seat scorecard ranks major carriers each year on a number of key measures important to travelers: on-time arrivals, long delays, canceled flights, mishandled bags, passengers bumped from flights and complaints filed with the Department of Transportation.
Overall rankings:

1: Alaska
2: Delta
3: Southwest/Airtran (combined)
4: USAir
5: jetBlue
6: United/Continental (combined)
7: American

There is also a blog entry that might not be paywalled with some of the details of the full article:

Airline Rankings: Best and Worst for Customer Service in 2011 - The Middle Seat Terminal - WSJ
 

x3 skier

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What are the actual numbers?

When i read the article in the print edition, I though one thing I wish they would do is give the actual numbers for the various items.

I suspect at least some of the numbers are so close it means no real difference between airlines. OTOH, if they were greatly different, it would show how bad some airlines are in some categories. As an example Sothwest touts no checked bag fees but they are the second worst offender in baggage handling. Actually, without AirTran, they would have been the lousiest according to the article. Be nice to know if they are truly that atrocious or just .001 worse. (Of course I never check a bag:p )

BTW, both links worked for me

Cheers
 

dougp26364

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I guess it just goes to show that things change from year to year. I've had much better luck on American and United then I've had on either Delta or USAir. Until United really messes us up, we'll stick with them or Frontier as both tend to get us to the destinations we want to go to with the least complications........for now.
 

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I am just switching to American, after UA gutted CO's elite ff program for golds and silvers, so no experience with them recently. But I agree CO has problems. Over the past two or three years, I have found that they misplace bags much more often than my previous carrier, NW, usually do so for longer periods of time, more often damage or destroy bags than NW, and unlike NW are hard to deal with, even as an elite, on damaged bags. I had on CO flight where they finally got my bag to my NC house two weeks late and a day after I had left to fly bag here, and when it arived there it was destroyed. The only way CO would compensate for the bag was if a relative drove to the RDU airport, a five hour round trip to let them inspect the destroyed bag. It was not worth the trip to RDU

Generally, I try to travel light and avoid checking bags because I don't like putting them in the hands of the airlines baggage mishandlers / luggage losers, but on TATL trips I usually have too much to carry and have to check luggage.

Punctuality of airlines might surprise some. In Europe the one with the best ontime performance is RyanAir.
 

Talent312

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Best - Worst... If you're the one person on the wrong end of the stick who keeps the airline from being 100% perfect, it makes little difference. Maybe your chances are better with the better airlines. But its gonn'a happen to someone, and if that someone happens to be you, its little solace for to know you flew the best.
 

x3 skier

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Punctuality of airlines might surprise some. In Europe the one with the best ontime performance is RyanAir.
I suppose that is to the boondocks airports they fly in and out of and not to one's desired "real" airport. :D

Sounds like you can add Unietd to your signature line as well? ;)

Cheers
 
Last edited:

MichaelColey

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My own experience mirrors Doug's, that US Airways and Delta are among the worst (for non-elites anyway). AA has been great for me, and I'm surprised SouthWest doesn't get a better rank (although AirTran is another least favorite of mine).

Probably the most important factor is something they can't build into any of these ranks, and that's where they fly and how convenient the flight times are. If you're in a city where the #1 airline only has one departure a day and you need 1-2 connections to get where you need to go, but the #6 airline has multiple direct flights per day, the rankings aren't going to matter.

What airline works best for each person will vary. A few years ago (despite them not being that great overall), US Airways worked awesome for us. The way their elite upgrades worked, your entire party was eligible for a free upgrade if at least 50% of the party was elite, and the upgrade priority was based on the highest level elite. We were a family of four and I had top tier (Chairman) status and my wife varied from Silver to Platinum status, so the four of us would get free upgrades to first on virtually every flight. Plus, at the time, they almost always had the cheapest flights out of DFW. Now, with a family of 5 and lapsed status, they're nowhere near as appealing to us.
 
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