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Are You Flying a Mean Airline? 

It’s great that the airlines made money last year, all except American Airlines that is.

And according the recently released 2011 Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report, the experience of flying has improved too.

The AQR  is a touted as a “premier statistical study of major airline performances in the United States” conducted by a Wichita State and Purdue University professor.

Still, outrageous baggage fees, elimination of food and other creature comforts, numerous add-on fees may well contribute to an airline’s healthy bottom line,  but it leave us pretty disgruntled.

And judging from last year’s dramatic exit from a JetBlue plane by an employee, airline workers are also pretty unhappy with the flying experience.

So when Yahoo Travel came out with its “Meanest Airlines 2011” list, it seemed like all the airlines would qualify for the top spot, an ignominious list of 1.

Turns out there are gradations of meanness.

So, here are the best of the losers, the meanest of the mean, as Yahoo sees it:

• Meanest Major Carrier
United Airlines, which came in last place. Its AQR score indicates the number of customer complaints exceeded those of all other airlines in its class.

• Meanest Regional Carrier
American Eagle won hands-down here, largely due to an unacceptable number of mishandled bags and high rate of “involuntary denied boardings.”

* The Most Complained About Airline
And the top prize goes to Delta with “the highest consumer complaint of all the carriers surveyed “ for the 2011 Airline Quality Survey Report.

* Most Likely to be Late

The top honors go to Comair, with the “worst on-time performance for all of the airlines surveyed for the report.” Nice

There are more “Meanest Categories,” but we’re too depressed to list them.

For more information, check out Yahoo Travel or give up flying!


Views: 38

Tags: , Airlines, American, American Airlines JetBlue, airports, , JetBlue, air, airlines, airports, complaints, customer, More…customer complaints,, travel"

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Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on June 14, 2011 at 5:50pm
Thanks, Sam. Appreciate it. I saw the stats you referred to, if the airlines were a country, I suspect the people would overthrow them!
Comment by Sam Scribe on June 14, 2011 at 5:45pm
Good story, and I, too, like the image you chose. At the risk of banging yet another nail into the coffin, I must add that the U.S. carriers collected $5.7 billion in baggage and ticket-changing fees this past year.
Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on June 14, 2011 at 5:33pm
I go for that! Let the contest begin...
Comment by Ed Wetschler on June 14, 2011 at 5:12pm
Kaleel, second prize is two T-shirts with my signature.
Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on June 14, 2011 at 3:49pm
Tripatini T shirt signed by Ed?
Comment by Jose Balido on June 14, 2011 at 3:35pm
Mad about dogs too, only got 4. What's the prize? :-)
Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on June 14, 2011 at 3:28pm
Broke my hear a bit cuz I love dogs. Airlines? Not much! Thanks for writing in and how about a contest to name the canine?
Comment by Jose Balido on June 14, 2011 at 2:57pm
Nice piece, Kaleel. Love the dog, too -- especially since airlines are particularly mean to pets, or more precisely, their owners' wallets, with absurd fees for bringing a small one into the cabin.

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