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Old 04-10-2011, 05:43 PM   #1  
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Default Meanest Airlines

America's Meanest Airlines

Interesting Article

America's Meanest Airlines: 2011


By Hamooda Shami


In last place: United AirlinesJamesZ_Flickr/Flickr

Last year was a good one for the airline industry, with U.S. airlines churning out the highest profits in more than a decade. With the exception of American Airlines, every major carrier turned in positive profits for the year.

In the 2011 Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report released on April 4, quality is up as well.

But that doesn't mean airlines deserve high-fives all around. Soaring baggage fees, widespread airfare increases and the elimination of free food on many flights were major factors in improving the bottom line. Not surprisingly, customers were not happy in 2010. According to a Business Insider study conducted last November, which uses data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, four of the major U.S. carriers made its list of the "18 Worst Companies in America." The year also saw PR nightmares for the industry, including discrimination against disabled and overweight passengers and the episode involving a JetBlue flight attendant (the now famous Steven Slater) hitting his breaking point. 2011 has already seen a pilot misplace his handgun and a flight attendant put a baby in an overhead bin -- hardly a good way to start the year.


Meanest Major Carrier

United

United came in last place among all major airlines on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -1.31. United had the second-highest customer complaint rate (1.64 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines in 2010, including the regional carriers.


Worst regional carrier: American EaglePhoto: Scruffieb/Wikimedia Commons


Meanest Regional Carrier

American Eagle

American Eagle earned last place among all regional airlines on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -2.82. The major contributing factors were that they had the most incidents of mishandled baggage (7.15 reports per 1,000 passengers) and the highest involuntary denied boardings rate (4.02 per 10,000 passengers) in 2010.


Delta has the highest complaint ratePhoto: Makaristos/Wikimedia Commons


Most Complained About Airline

Delta

Delta had the highest consumer complaint rate (2.00 complaints per 100,000 passengers) of all the carriers surveyed for the 2011 Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report. Delta placed #5 among major airlines on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -1.22.


Jet Blue: most likely to be unsafePhoto: Pylon757/Flickr


Most Likely to be Unsafe

JetBlue

With only 17 documented incidents out of approximately 219,000 flights in 2010, the "least safe" major (minimum of 600 flights a day on average) airline is still very safe. Fortunately, commercial air travel in the United States these days is about as safe as it gets.


Delta, US Airways and Continental all share hefty baggage chargesPhoto: jeremyfoo/Flickr


Most Likely to Overcharge for Bags

Delta / US Airways / Continental

This worst culprit in this category depends on the type of baggage you're checking. Delta, US Airways and Continental all share a similar fee structure, with some variance.

Domestic Baggage Fees 1st Bag: $25 ($23 if checked online with Delta or Continental)
2nd Bag: $35 ($32 if checked online with Delta or Continental)
3rd Bag: $125 for Delta & US Airways; $100-$200 for Continental

Overweight/Oversized Bags 51-70 lbs: $90 for Delta & US Airways; $200 for Continental
71-100 lbs: $175 for Delta & US Airways; Continental will not accept luggage heavier than 70 lbs as checked baggage
Larger than 62 inches: $175 for Delta & US Airways; $100-$200 for Continental


American Eagle is the most likely to bump youPhoto: ColumbusCameraOp/Flickr


Most Likely to Bump You

American Eagle

American Eagle had the highest rate of involuntary denied boardings in 2010, with a rate of 4.02 per 10,000 passengers. American Eagle was the worst overall airline on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -2.82.


Comair has the worst on-time ratePhoto: lifesabmovie/Flickr


Most Likely to be Late

Comair

Comair was the tardiest airline in 2010. With only 73.1 percent of flights arriving on time, the airline had the worst on -time performance of all of the airlines surveyed for the 2011 Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report. Comair placed #3 among regional airlines on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -1.56.


American Eagle had the most incidents of mishandled baggage in 2010Photo: abdallahh/Flickr


Most Likely to Mishandle Your Bag

American Eagle

American Eagle had the most incidents of mishandled baggage in 2010, with 7.15 reports per 1,000 passengers. American Eagle was the worst overall airline on our 2011 Meanest Airlines list with an AQR score of -2.82.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:36 PM   #2  
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They need to come out with a story on "Dumbest Passengers". Wouldn't have to be so mean if they weren't so dumb.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:09 PM   #3  
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"Jet Blue: most likely to be unsafe"

wth? How do they come up w/ this crap?
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #4  
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They need to come out with a story on "Dumbest Passengers". Wouldn't have to be so mean if they weren't so dumb.
Southwest wins that one...by far.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:10 PM   #5  
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How about Most Outsourced Airline?

Who has the most outsourced, non-employees working in their service from the rampers to the call centers?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:47 AM   #6  
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How about Most Outsourced Airline?

Who has the most outsourced, non-employees working in their service from the rampers to the call centers?
That's an interesting question and I find it amusing when I have to press 1 for English.


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Old 04-11-2011, 08:01 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Colnago View Post
"Jet Blue: most likely to be unsafe"

wth? How do they come up w/ this crap?
Incidents / Number of Flights

Not sure what constitutes an incident since I haven't heard of any with JB lately. Probably includes aborts and diverts.


I imagine that this produces a near random ranking from year-to-year since I think most majors have equivalent safety systems.

It's possible that fleet type or age makes a difference, if you have a lot of mechanicals which require aborts or diverts that could skew your numbers. Although they have newer buses...

This could also be deceptive...maybe JB pilots are just more conservative about aborting/diverting and are less likely to press on with a technical issue.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #8  
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That's an interesting question and I find it amusing when I have to press 1 for English.
Fred
I don't mind that, I understand if they're trying to cater to non-English speaking customers by offering their language on a prompt.

But what I do get annoyed with is the fact that the call centers are flat in terms of hierarchy. There is no "supervisor" that they'll transfer you to, their ability to intervene and make changes is heavily restricted beyond the policy of the company. They have huge incentive to get you off the phone as fast as possible (as they're billing back the company for each minute & call). No matter what answer they give you, there is no possible recourse with the company. The consumer is essentially eliminated from getting any further than that call center.

Short of making a comical Youtube video, you really cant win as a consumer
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:20 PM   #9  
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Most Likely to Mishandle Your Bag

American Eagle
Figured that might be TSA
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:08 PM   #10  
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How about Most Outsourced Airline?

Who has the most outsourced, non-employees working in their service from the rampers to the call centers?
I would guess that it would be Delta. They have at least 8 DCI carriers. REAS to perform underwing and gate agent duties......I'd be shocked if their call center didn't have some outsourcing.

Can anyone think if another carrier who outsourced more?

How about who does the least outsourcing? Southwest?
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