Monday, 18 August 2014

Annual Performance Card of US Airlines

The report card is out and it is time to know what marks did US airlines score on various parameters of service in the last one year. These figures, compiled by airfarewatchdog, could serve as pointers to the airlines to improve their performance further.

Customer Satisfaction Score: JetBlue stole the march over other carriers in this category. Southwest scored the second best points in this respect. Though Delta Airlines was at the third position, three airlines, Alaska, Frontier and Virgin America tied for the fourth place.

Denied Boardings: It is quite common for airlines to overbook their flights. However, this also causes inconvenience to passengers since a few among them are denied boarding. While voluntary denials are welcome, there are also instances of involuntary denial of boardings. In the latter case, it is the United Airlines which ranks at the bottom, having involuntarily denied boarding to more passengers than any other. Southwest is the next biggest culprit. JetBlue scores well here as well.          

Mishandled Baggage: Which airline is worse at taking care of you baggage and which one is the best and, why? Virgin America has emerged ahead of others to win this race for least mishandled baggage instances while Southwest is the biggest culprit of all. Virgin has a little proportion of its flights of connecting nature. Most of these are direct and non-stop which reduces the instances of loss of or damage to baggage. Southwest is the main culprit in this respect but it is also the carrier which allows you to carry 2 pieces of luggage without any charge.

On-time arrival time: Another important parameter through which airline performance is judged is that of punctuality. Passengers want airplanes to depart and arrive on time. Alaska airline has recorded the best on-time performance despite operating from a very difficult climatic region. Its on-time performance is helped by the fact that it mostly flies to those destinations which does not see much rush in air traffic. So, traffic congestion is not an issue most of the time. Next best airline in terms of punctuality is the Delta Airline while worst performer is Southwest airline. It is quite ironical that an LCC is recording the worst on-time performance because its business model is oriented to achieve better punctuality rates. The reason is attributed to its being a popular carrier operating in highly busy sectors.

Flight cancellations: JetBlue is the worst performer in this segment. It has recorded the maximum number of flight cancellations last year, causing inconvenience to passengers. Delta has emerged as a leading carrier in this respect with fewest cancellations. This shows that its flights have high reliability for taking off but it can cause some delay.  

In terms overall performance, it is the Delta Airlines which has scored the top ranks and can be considered the best airline.

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