Delta Air Lines was named the best performing U.S. airline in the Wall Street Journal’s 2017 Airline Scorecard, including getting top marks for on-time arrivals and frequency of involuntary passenger “bumping.”
The other key operational metrics used in the rankings included cancelled flights, extreme delays, tarmac delays of two hours or more, mishandled baggage, and customer complaints.
“Delta Air Lines suffered multiple passenger-stranding messes last year, from a spring-break crew-scheduling fiasco to a nightmarish Atlanta airport power outage,” the newspaper reported January 10, 2018. “And yet Delta performed better than any other U.S. airline in 2017.”
Alaska Airlines finished second in the overall rankings, followed by Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and JetBlue Airways.
The rankings were particularly up-and-down for Southwest, which finished atop the pack for extreme flight delays, extended tarmac delays, and customer complaints, but lagged in scores for mishandled baggage, on-time arrivals, and involuntary bumping.
JetBlue’s poor showing was due in part to its last-place finish for on-time performance and extreme delays, and the airline was also dinged for having too many cancelled flights, long tarmac delays, and involuntary bumping incidents. The airline did finish second in the rankings for lost baggage, but that was not enough to pull JetBlue out of the scorecard’s basement.