The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2019 | WSJ

With more and more people taking flight each year, there’s a lot that can go wrong. WSJ’s Scott McCartney tallies the data for a definitive look at which airlines performed best and worst in 2019 in key categories like on-time departures, baggage handling and flight cancellations.

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Comment (414)

  1. As an AP Statistics student, many of these rankings seem like you're comparing counts when you should be comparing percentages. For example, with the involuntary bumping, American carries significantly more passengers than any other airline every year because it is the largest airline in the world. So to say that Delta only bumping 9 versus American's 15,000 might seem horrible for American, but that data is not in context because you're comparing the count of bumped passengers, instead of a percentage of bumped passengers divided by the total passengers carried. Additionally, for the mishandled baggage, obviously Allegiant would be the best and American would be the worst, because that data is a direct correlation with the size of the airline.

  2. when I was a gate agent for a panamanian airlines AA always gave us headaches, they were late almost every single day and almost delayed our flight as well because we used to use the same computer gate to board the flight….. we were a team of 5, flight on time an average 350 days per year, AA had like 10+ staff and their flight was late almost every single day I promiss…. urghhh disgrace!

  3. Hello from Lebanon Pennsylvania. We Pennsylvanians live still with the legacy of that never-ending trainwreck (pardon the mixed metaphor) formerly known as Allegheny (pronounced in these parts as “Agony”). That perpetual winner of the Customer Disservice award morphed into US Air, then US Airways, but no mere name change could put lip-stick on that thermonuclear poison pill, which American had to absorb when the merger-mania music stopped and that was the only chair left.

    Now American itself was nothing to write home about either, after Idiot CEO Crandall had transformed the best of the Coast-to-Coast carriers into the worst, so nothing good could reasonably have been expected by merging that ruptured duck with Agony. It was a surefire Customer Service disaster.

    And thus once again American has fulfilled its expectation with a Last Place finish.

    What do I do about this mess?? Dulles and Friendship BWI are very convenient to me by car, so I go there. Hardly ever even see an American plane there, let alone have to actually fly in one. Thank God!! CAS

  4. I really prefer delta but I’m almost always forced to fly with American based on where I live. AA is okay (When everything works out) but being delayed or canceled always sucks. At least I don’t have to step onto a united plane just to get violently dragged off…

  5. Why do people complain so much about spirit? I personally love them, I’ve never had issues everything is straight forward. They are an a la carte airline. People just expect too much for free now a days.(when it still really isn’t free 😂)

  6. I wouldn’t fly American even if it was a free flight, they had there worse summer in 2019 and trust me I went through it, they suck

  7. I refuse to fly on AA (American Airlines) after hearing some stories of what they’ve done, but United is the worst in comparison which I also refuse to fly with

  8. I think a key category that's missing in this evaluation is price. A lot of customers are willing to put up with marginally worse service in exchange for a marked decrease in price.

  9. I've always flown Frontier for the pricing and not once had an issues. Southwest did nothing to accommodate us when an overly large man was breaching our seat space on a sold out flight. Between that and the massive rise in costs we have not flown them in 4 years. We've never heard anything but horror stories about Spirit, based on this we may try them in the future.

  10. tarmac delay occurs when an airplane on the ground is either awaiting takeoff or has just landed and passengers do not have the opportunity to get off the plane. The Department's tarmac delay rule applies only to tarmac delays that occur at U.S. airports.Mar 13, 2018

    https://www.transportation.gov › tar…

    Tarmac Delays | US Department of

  11. United is still great for international flights, and in flying with them this summer for a connecting flight to Geneva. Also this is so biased. It doesn’t even take the flight experience itself, food service, cleanliness, or comfort of each airline into account

  12. I’ll never fly spirit again after choosing them due to a huge price difference. 2 hour outbound delay and 3.5 hour inbound delay. Time is money, friend and I would paid double to be on time which is what I’m going to do from now on.

  13. I am not surprised American is at the bottom. I have preferred AA in the past — mainly because in the middle of the country they seem to be more convenient in terms of scheduling. But the published schedule is an illusion because they are simply unreliable. And their unreliability is not a 15 minute delay, but hours and hours. Reservations/plans to arrive at 11 a.m arrive produce actual arrival times of 7 pm. That's happened several times over the last 2 years. I have the majority of my miles with them, but in October 2019 I finally got a dose and simply will not use them if there is any possible alternative.

  14. Delta, Southwest, or JetBlue? I'm trying to decide if it's worth sticking to one airline and grabbing a credit card for it, or just flying whichever of these three airlines is the most affordable at the time I plan my trip.

  15. you should include Air Canada next year. I know its not a US airline but I am curious to see how it stacks up in these categories compared to the US airlines because Air Canada has won Skytrax best North American airline 8 of the last 10 years

  16. I only flew American once and had no problems yet pretty much every time I look up American flight experience, there's a bunch of videos at the top with titles like; American airlines, worst flight, American Airlines Nightmare. So all in all, it looks like AA is a terrible airline.

  17. 3:02 our airport is a smaller airport. Only handles 14 million passengers a year but a focus city for both Delta and frontier. We have over 80 flights a day from Delta on a regular day (pre-Covid) one of them happens to be our flight to Paris. We currently only have 2 transatlantic flights but there’s speculation that RDU is talking to American and Delta about expanding operations to Asia. This has been an on going talk for years and with delta’s increasing routes, we expect that to keep going up. Our airport currently has 43 gates open. 2 are currently being renovated and the airport should have 23 brand new gates by 2031 as well as an 11,500 foot runway, 23 new hangers (2 capable of holding a320neo), extensions to second runway to 9,000 feet, new general aviation facility, new apron (potential terminal in future) and much more. The airport is growing so fast, that the $2 billion project has potentially become a $4 billion project with a brand new international only terminal

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  19. Im surprised Jer Blue was so low but I honestly only fly Jet Blue back home to JFK and that’s their home base. ive never had a problem with Jet Blue from las vegas to jfk or LaX to JfK . Especially because I can fly non-stop and they’re so roomy. I hate American every time I have flown American I always had a problem. The only con with Jet Blue is they dont have enough locations compared to like Delta. so i will give Delta that. But JetBlue is also pretty new compared to the other ones JetBlue was founded in 1998 and Delta was founded in 1925 so that’s not that long for Jet Blue. Delta has 242 destinations, where Jet Blue only has about I think 90 destinations maybe a little more.

  20. JetBlue is the worst….their customer service at any airport is garbage. Employees are rude and conceited. they never want to help and are only good to ask you to do their jobs such as checking in or tagging bags.

  21. Of course Alaska has the best extreme delays due to the main hub Seattle has some of the most Mild weather in the country and the places that it flies to a lot like Las Vegas and Palm Springs for Example

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  23. Alaska Airlines basically outsourced their baggage handling a few years back and they have fallen mightily in any category involving your luggage as a result. Their rewards program is pretty good though and I think I am one of about 11 people in the PNW without an Alaska Airlines Credit Card. It's insanely popular.

  24. Delta I can confirm is the best compared, to other international airlines they aren’t the best. But honestly they are not horrible at one thing just alright at everything. Which makes them good.

  25. I flew american airlines yesterday and I made sure not to take any luggage and after watching this I'm glad oh also my plane was late,one canceled, one was so uncomfortable that my symptoms for my disability started happening thank goodness I had my medication in my pocket so yeah american airlines definitely isn't the greatest I'm already going to assume United is one of the worse

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