Best U.S. Airlines: 2013 Edition

George Hobica, November 05, 2013
Fares from Washington DC:

    It's that time of year again. The Airfarewatchdog team has been hard at work crunching numbers to determine the best domestic airlines. (In case you missed last year's rankings, you can see them here.) We took a look at performance in five key areas—canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, denied boardings, and customer satisfaction—to determine the best of the best in 2013.

    Top Airlines for Overall Performance*
    Frontier
    1st Place
    &nbspVirgin America 
    2nd Place
    JetBlue
    3rd Place
    Alaska
    4th Place
    Southwest
    5th Place
    Delta
    6th Place
    AirTran
    7th Place
    US Airways
    8th Place
    American
    9th Place
    United
    &nbsp10th Place 
    *Rankings determined by combining the airlines' scores in all categories
    Individual Categories
    Fewest Cancelled Flights*
    &nbspVirgin America 
    0.16% Cancelled
    Frontier
    0.29% Cancelled
    Delta
    0.42% Cancelled
    Alaska
    0.43% Cancelled
    JetBlue
    0.74% Cancelled
    Southwest
    0.78% Cancelled
    United
    1.27% Cancelled
    US Airways
    1.39% Cancelled
    American
    1.42% Cancelled
    AirTran
    &nbsp1.52% Cancelled 
    *Based on Department of Transportation (DOT) report on June 2013 flight cancellations at all reportable airports
    On-Time Arrivals*
    Alaska
    &nbsp87.5% On-Time 
    Frontier
    77.9% On-Time
    Delta
    76.1% On-Time
    US Airways
    73.0% On-Time
    Southwest
    72.5% On-Time
    United
    71.1% On-Time
    &nbspVirgin America 
    70.6% On-Time
    American
    69.8% On-Time
    JetBlue
    69.6% On-Time
    AirTran
    65.9% On-Time
    *Based on DOT report on June 2013 on-time arrivals at all reportable airports
    Fewest Mishandled Bags*
     Virgin America 
    0.95 Mishandled
    JetBlue
    2.14 Mishandled
    Frontier
    2.19 Mishandled
    Delta
    2.78 Mishandled
    US Airways
    3.09 Mishandled
    Alaska
    3.50 Mishandled
    American
    3.59 Mishandled
    United
    4.06 Mishandled
    Southwest
    4.23 Mishandled
    AirTran
     5.19 Mishandled 
    *Based on DOT report on June 2013 mishandled baggage reports per 1K passengers
     Amount of Denied Boardings* 
    JetBlue
    2 Denied
    Virgin America
    7 Denied
    Alaska
    32 Denied
    American
    33 Denied
    US Airways
    66 Denied
    Delta
    86 Denied
    United
    93 Denied
    AirTran
    136 Denied
    Frontier
    138 Denied
    Southwest
    148 Denied
    *Based on DOT report on April to June 2013 involuntary denied boardings per 1MM passengers
     Customer Satisfaction Score* 
    JetBlue
    83
    AirTran
    81
    Southwest
    81
    Virgin America
    72
    Alaska
    72
    Frontier
    72
    Delta
    68
    American
    65
    US Airways
    64
    United
    62
    *Based on June 2013 American Consumer Survey Index scores
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