5 Best, 5 Worst U.S. Airlines
The 5 Best and 5 Worst of the U.S. Airlines
You know, the airplane has revolutionized the world.
In her youth, my grandmother never dreamed of hopping on an airplane and exploring the world. Yet, here I stand two generations later knowing that I can literally explore the far corners of the world by booking an airline ticket.
While our postmodern culture tends to take this for granted, it really is a remarkable thing if you take a few minutes to mull it around in your mind.
However, in spite of this seemingly miraculous blessing to mankind, when our clients and readers are unhappy with their travel, it usually has to do with a dissatisfactory experience with an airline.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States.
The ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for analyzing customer satisfaction with more than 300 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies.
In the recent ACSI Travel Report 2016, airlines were put to the test. While the scores are generally improving across the spectrum, we find it interesting to look at the results.
The 5 Best U.S. Airlines
- JetBlue and Southwest tied for 1st place.
- Alaska Airlines comes in the #3 spot
- The report lumps the rest of the airlines together in the chart.
The 5 Worst U.S. Airlines
While Spirit Airlines comes in as the nation’s worst airline, it has greatly improved its ratings from a year ago. And, isn’t it interesting that our nation’s large legacy carriers all find themselves in the “5 worst” list. In my humble opinion, it’s a function of the organizational culture in each of these airlines.
Consider, for example, that the stock symbol for Southwest Airlines is LUV, and a big red heart is everywhere present in their branding. They are communicating from the top down that love for their passengers and employees drives everything that they do. Carol and I have yet to fly JetBlue or Alaska, but we’ve heard marvelous things about both of them. Perhaps the CEOs of the bottom five need to read the book Good to Great.
If you’d like to read the full 2016 ACSI Travel Report, click here.
Have thoughts or would like to share your opinions about this article? Let’s dialog in the comments section below!
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We recently traveled to SFO-Tel Aviv on Delta. We were with a group, so had no options as to which airline. The flight over was uneventful and on time, nothing special, but no complaints. Our 10:30 pm flight home was cancelled at about 2 am due to a mechanical problem, and we spent the rest of the night getting hotel vouchers and rescheduled flights for our group. It was difficult and basically terrible. They sent us to a hotel all the way back to Tel Aviv (about an hour), then booked us on a 9:30 am flight. We had about an hour at the hotel, then had to find our own way back to the airport. Our group was booked on another airline (El Al) which had no entertainment services. I became ill during the night and my husband and I had to stay since I was unable to fly. That is the end of the bad story.
The good story is that Delta booked my husband and i on another flight about 36 hours later, allowing me to recover. (we paid our own hotel) They compensated everyone in our group 20K miles plus about $800. On our return flight layover in JFK, the flight was overbooked and my husband and I volunteered to take the next flight an hour later. We were compensated $700 each and given a first class seat JFK to SFO.
All in all, we thought Delta did a pretty good job.
Thanks for sharing your story. Wow, what an ordeal. We’ve flown Delta quite a bit over the years and have found them willing to work with their passengers when problems occur. I suppose the only thing I would share with them is that they should work a little harder when these things occur. When problems occur, it creates an opportunity for an airline to turn their passengers into raving fans if they go out of their way to show that they care when inevitable problems arise. 😀