Sunday, August 1, 2021
Home Women Business News The Best And Worst Airlines In America In 2021, According To New...

The Best And Worst Airlines In America In 2021, According To New Report


It’s been a rough year for the airline industry, but as the number of people traveling continues to rise, things are settling into a new normal. So the 2021 Best Airlines Report from The Points Guy—a trusted media platform that focuses on maximizing travel experiences while minimizing spending—couldn’t come at a better moment. The Points Guy’s fifth-annual report ranks the best airlines in the U.S., as well as the worst airlines in America. 

After focusing its 2020 airlines report on Covid-19 safety protocols and keeping fliers safe in the sky, The Points Guy has taken a more traditional methodology this year, ranking the overall experience for air travelers by measuring 14 elements across four key categories, including reliability (which was weighted at 30%), experience (weighted at 25%), loyalty (25%) and costs and reach (20%). “We look at the entirety of what a typical traveler would experience with an airline, using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation along with real-time award availability and frequent flyer policies to numerically categorize the airlines across the 14 elements,” says Nick Ewen, senior editor at The Points Guy. 

For the third year in a row, Delta Air Lines takes the top spot in The Points Guy’s ranking of the best airlines in America. “The carrier has taken steps to invest in both its operations (it scored first in both the fewest cancellations and involuntary bumps, and it scored second in fewest delays) as well as the customer experience (it was first in lounges and second in cabin features),” says Ewen.

Interestingly, the one area where the airline hasn’t competed is when it comes to cost. “[Delta] was last in our affordability element—instead choosing to lean into its in-flight product and reliability to offer the best and most consistent overall experience for travelers,” says Ewen.

Delta’s leading role in the industry has been recognized by other prominent aviation experts, including J.D. Power, which recently released its annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study, which measures passenger satisfaction. In those awards, Delta also took the top spot.

“The people at Delta—in every division, in every city in our network—are powering our rebound by putting our customers first at every step throughout the journey and running an operation that leads the industry in all key metrics,” says Allison Ausband, Delta’s E.V.P. and chief customer experience officer. “As the recovery gains momentum, we’re making investments to strengthen our competitive advantage, further differentiate our brand and warmly welcome our customers as they return to the skies.”

Coming in second of The Points Guy’s list is Southwest Airlines, which gets high marks for customer satisfaction, bag/change fees and award availability. Southwest was docked for its lack of airport lounges. United ranked in the third spot, while Alaska Airlines came in fourth. (In 2018, Alaska Airlines ranked top on The Points Guy’s list of best airlines in America.)

Coming in at the bottom of the list is Allegiant Air, a low-cost carrier that operates scheduled and charter flights. (Curiously, Allegiant came out on top in another airline ranking in 2020.) Frontier—another low-cost carrier—came in next to last. According to The Points Guy, Allegiant and Frontier rank poorly due to several factors, including timeliness, cancellations and a no-frills experience (no Wi-Fi, no entertainment, no power outlets). Another downside to flying with Allegiant Air: In order to earn miles, the carrier requires that passengers must have a co-branded credit card, which put the airline last in the loyalty category in 2021.

While The Points Guy returned to a more traditional ranking system this year, some of the data was still impacted by the pandemic. “Hawaiian, United and Frontier saw dramatically-higher numbers of customer complaints to the DOT at the height of the pandemic—largely related to those carriers’ respective refund policies,” says Ewen. In addition, the cancellation data indicated that some carriers responded more quickly in the first few months of the pandemic—adjusting schedules in advance rather than waiting until the week before to cancel flights (which is how the DOT defines a “canceled” flight). “These didn’t necessarily cause major changes to the rankings themselves, but some of the specific data was clearly influenced by the pandemic,” says Ewen.

Ewen says the thing that surprised him most in the new ranking is that the removal of many change and cancellation fees by the legacy carriers—which started in late August/early September 2020—didn’t have more of an impact on the Costs & Reach section. “Southwest has typically reigned supreme in this area, and while that gap narrowed slightly, it still was well ahead of its nearest rival (American, which still imposed an average of $4.45 in ancillary fees per passenger),” says Ewen. “That said, these new policies were only in effect for roughly half of the 12-month period used in the analysis—so I do expect next year’s analysis to trim Southwest’s lead in this category even more.”

As consumers are thinking about flying again, Ewen says there are some things to consider. For one thing, service—on the phone, in airports and onboard—has not come back to pre-pandemic levels. “Especially this summer, expect longer lines at security and airport food outlets, and be prepared for long wait times if you need to call an airline’s customer service line,” says Ewen.

Another thing to know: The major carriers are continuing to adjust their schedules to meet changing demand and crew scheduling needs. Ewen’s advice: “Be sure to frequently check your reservations to find out about changes or cancellations as far in advance as possible,” he says. “These schedule changes aren’t always communicated to customers, so be proactive.”

You can find more details about The Points Guy’s annual airline ranking here. Or read on to see the results of the overall list, ranked from best to worst.

The Best And Worst Airlines in America in 2021

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. United Airlines
  4. Alaska Airlines
  5. American Airlines
  6. JetBlue Airways
  7. Hawaiian Airlines
  8. Spirit Airlines
  9. Frontier Airlines
  10. Allegiant Air

READ MORE:

These Beautiful Villages In Italy Will Pay You $33,000 To Move There

• Ranked: The 10 Best Beaches In America, According To Dr. Beach



Source link

- Advertisement -

Must Read

Related News

- Supported by -