Wednesday, October 27, 2010

America's Meanest Airlines


We went to New York City last summer and flew with US Airways as the only flight where we could get a seat next to each other. We experienced rude passenger who didn't wanna sit next to us because of our little ones who happened to be the perfect little angel while that rude passenger found a seat next to a crying baby. Anyhow, traveling with kids is difficult already then we had to go to the next floor because thats where the US airways check in was. Then we paid additional $25 for the car seat. When I went to Vegas flying with Southwest airlines which was free because i got a reserve ticket from my BIL and sister i didn't pay for the car seat. It doesn't surprise me to read this news from U.S News posted by By Hamooda Shami which put US Airway on top as one of the meanest airlines and rude flight attendants.

Based on the Airline Quality Rating (AQR) Report, which covers 18 domestic carriers, here is a list of the airlines that could stand to do the most work on making their customers happy. The report's conclusions are based on surveys of airline industry experts, with positive and negative values assigned to different elements in airline quality. Several common complaint areas were factored in -- including on-time arrival, mishandled baggage, delays and involuntary denied boardings -- the scores of which were then calculated to produce an overall quality score.

Worst Major Airlines

5. US Airways

2009 AQR Score: -1.19

While US Airways improved five percent in passenger satisfaction according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, they were one of three airlines cited as having the rudest flight attendants and serving the worst food, in a survey conducted by SeatGuru last year. Additionally, US Airways received a below-average score in the J.D. Power 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

Domestic Baggage Fees:

1st Bag: $25
2nd Bag: $35 3rd Bag: $100
Overweight Bags: $50 Extra (51 - 70 lbs) $100 Extra (71 - 100 lbs)
Oversized Bags: $100 Extra (larger than 62")

4. American Airlines

2009 AQR Score: -1.25

American Airlines has an Airline Quality Rating (AQR) of -1.25 -- which isn't awful, but where its reputation takes the hardest hit is with its regional airline, American Eagle (more on it later).

This year AA has had frequent incidents of mishandled baggage with an average of 4.07 reports per 1,000 passengers, according to the Air Travel Consumer Reports (this is the worst rating among the major airlines in the study). SeatGuru's survey named American Airlines as one of the three airlines that have the rudest flight attendants and the worst food.

Domestic Baggage Fees:
1st Bag: $25
2nd Bag: $35
3rd Bag: $100
Overweight Bags: $50 (51 - 70 lbs) $100 (71 - 100 lbs)
Oversized Bags: $150 (larger than 62")

3. Alaska Airlines

2009 AQR Score: -1.39

Alaska Airlines has an Airline Quality Rating (AQR) of -1.39, which can be partially attributed to the airline's high number of mishandled baggage reports. According to Air Travel Consumer Reports, the airline averaged 3.98 incidents per 1,000 passengers last year. However, Alaska Airlines did a stellar job when it came to delays, with 88 percent of its flights having on-time arrivals (in the 12-month period ending August 2010).

Domestic Baggage Fees:
1st Bag: $20
2nd Bag: $20
3rd Bag: $20
Overweight Bags: $50 (51 - 100 lbs)
Oversized Bags: $50 (63 - 80") $75 (81 - 115")

2. United Airlines

2009 AQR Score: -1.43

Now that the merger with Continental Airlines is official, United can turn its attention to improving customer service. United received a score of "about average" in the J.D. Power 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study but it placed last in passenger satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to the SeatGuru survey, United joins American Airlines and US Airways as one of the three worst airlines for meals and rude flight attendants. In addition, the Air Travel Consumer Reports places this airline second in consumer complaints (behind Delta), averaging 1.82 per 100,000 enplanements in 2010.

Domestic Baggage Fees:
v1st Bag: $25
2nd Bag: $35
3rd Bag: $100
Overweight Bags: $100 (51 - 100 lbs)
Oversized Bags: $100 (larger than 62")

1. Delta

2009 AQR Score: -1.73

Delta had the worst AQR among major airlines with a -1.73, and a couple of its regional airlines did even worse (see Comair and Atlantic Southeast below). It also had the largest drop in passenger satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to the Air Travel Consumer Reports, Delta was number one in delays for major airlines (78 percent of flights arriving on time in the 12-month period ending August 2010) and first in consumer complaints (averaging 2.23 per 100,000 enplanements in 2010). Also, make sure to note Delta's baggage fees below, as they can get quite painful for those hauling heavy and/or large cargo.

Domestic Baggage Fees:
1st Bag: $25 ($23 if checked online)
2nd Bag: $35 ($32 if checked online)
3rd Bag: $125
Overweight Bags: $90 (51 - 70 lbs) $175 (71 - 100 lbs)
Oversized Bags: $175 (larger than 63 - 80") $300 (larger than 81 - 115")

Worst Regional Airlines
4. SkyWest
3. Comair
2. Atlantic Southeast
1. American Eagle

Click the source to find out how the following airlines mentioned are listed as the worst domestic and regional.

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