Did you see and read this?
This year Delta, which typically ends up toward the bottom of the performance list, ranked No. 1 in overall performance, thanks to more on-time arrivals, fewer canceled flights and mishandled bags and better customer service. “Delta is this year’s unsung hero,” the report revealed. It was followed by Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, and Frontier, in that order.
But the story gets better:
On the not-so-good side of this list are Southwest, Airtran (now part of Southwest), American, US Airways (now part of American Airlines), and United, which ranked dead last.
First, I am probably going to switch airlines and frequent flyer programs anyway. This just seals the deal to move on. I think over the years, many of us who travel, whether road warriors, or world travelers, have a love/hate relationship with United, in particular. They do fly to most places, and offer good schedules. But I realized about 5 years ago that it was time to move on.
The crux of the matter, and reason for the ranking:
United’s abysmal ranking may be due to the fact that it had the highest number of boarding denials (nearly 246 per one million passengers, compared with just 3.58 per one million for JetBlue, which ranked highest in this category) of all the airlines examined as well as the lowest overall customer satisfaction score (it ranked 60 out of 100, compared with 79 out of 100 for JetBlue, which had the best customer satisfaction score).
One BIG reason for their low rankings, in my opinion, are the “flying mamas”. The United flight attendants are old and tired. They could care less about their passengers. But why is it that way? Do you remember that their ranks have been thinned by poor management, forced layoffs and retirements, and loss of pension? I think the older flight attendants are still working because they are trying to rebuild their retirement benefits.
But delve further into the issue:
While some airlines score better than others, the industry as a whole is still hated by consumers. According to a 2014 survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, out of the 43 industries measured, airlines ranked 40th in terms of customer satisfaction (only Internet service providers, social media companies and cable and subscription TV providers got worse scores).
When you accidentally meet or talk to a decent airline representative, it is so refreshing!!! In my vast travels, I would say this amounts to about 20% of the time. Yet on my last trip to Japan, and Russia, I was really impressed by Korean Airlines. Why?
I arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo before the airlines open their check in stations. They staff was having a quiet meeting and prayer. They soon dispersed to their stations, and stood at attention in front of their respective stations. At precisely 6am, they bowed, and promptly and precisely moved into place, ready to work, with a big smile. Everyone was ready to work, nobody was fumbling around with their cell phone or their uniform or hair. Very impressive.
But even more impressive were the flight crew. They were dressed impeccably, in suits with skirts, hair pulled back and parted on the left, and a “winged” scarf around their neck. Each flight attendant was at least 5 feet 7 inches tall, wore high heels, and worked with a smile. Oh, and none of them were overweight!!! What ever happened to the monthly weigh in at domestic airlines?
But why the big discrepancy between foreign and domestic airlines? I never hear about the foreign airlines filing bankruptcy. Why the issues with the domestic airlines? Are we just totally mismanaged here in the U.S.? Why do we price the way we do? What happened to basing the price on the cost per mile? Too basic for these idiots to comprehend?
And why do domestic airlines continually seem to delicately dance around bankruptcy and famine? Is our cost structure too high? Do they not price their seats correctly? Do they pay their personnel too much? Why are the planes so old? How much do they pay for fuel? Why are they nickel and diming us on fees?
So, what is the bottom line to all of this? First, I am glad that I have done most of my ‘heavy” listing already. In other words, my big travel days are behind me. Second, domestic airlines seem forever doomed to be “the sisters of the poor”. And third, and most importantly, I always felt the flight experience should be as much a part of the adventure as the destination. Instead, they have made it an ordeal, to be endured. Life is too short to put up with their short-sighted antics.