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This Is the Airline People Dislike the Most

Airlines, in general, have bad reputations with the public. They lose luggage, depart and arrive late, are often crowded and, most recently, are considered a dangerous public environment for the spread of COVID-19. The industry’s reputation was battered even more recently. Weather delays and operational foul-ups caused hundreds of delays over the past two months. Crowded summer flights and difficult summer storms will bring another round of troubles.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) conducts scores of surveys about nearly every major industry that touches consumers in the United States. These range from food and beverages to computers to streaming services. The airline industry as a whole often ends up at the bottom of the barrel.

The ACSI has just released its Travel Study 2021-2022, which covers airlines, hotels and car rental companies. It is based on interviews with 6,285 residential customers by email between April 5, 2021, and March 25, 2022. Company grades were based on scores that ranged from zero to 100. Among the parts of the airline industry that were measured were mobile apps, check-in, baggage handling, boarding, call center experience, schedules and seat comfort.

The industry average was 75. The study covered nine carriers. There was also an “all other” measurement that included carriers not large enough to be named individually.


Large, national carriers tended to do well. The carrier with the highest grade was JetBlue at 79, followed by American, Delta, Southwest and United, all of which scored 77.


The lowest rated airline by far was Spirit at 63. The budget carrier often gets poor grades. To make matters worse, Spirit has merged with Frontier, which received a grade of 66, the second lowest in the study.

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