American airlines ranked from worst to best

After an extremely challenging year in air travel with many flight cancellations and industry issues, The Wall Street Journal published its annual ranking of America’s largest airlines.

There is one surprise on the list: Southwest Airlines, whose holiday meltdown has stalled airports across the country over the Christmas holiday season, took third place, trailing only persistently strong players Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines.

Jet Blue came in last place out of nine classified airlines, ahead of low-cost airlines Frontier and Spirit. United Airlines, Allegiant Air and American Airlines ranked fourth through sixth.

The top three airlines remained unchanged from last year’s ranking, in which Delta also triumphed. Frontier is down two places and Spirit is up one.

The Journal sets its rankings by compiling quantitative data on each airline’s performance, tracking metrics such as flight cancellations, on-time arrivals, delays, lost baggage, and complaints.

All in all, it provides a fairly comprehensive look at qualitative performance in an industry that is increasingly under scrutiny after countless issues over the last few years.

The federal government spent billions bailing out the airline industry when air travel nearly ceased overnight in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, then watched airlines lay off many workers and struggle to match pre-Covid-19 productivity as air travel resumed seriously in 2021

The airline again offered more flights last year, increasing its offerings to meet the normal demand for air travel, but in some cases it lacked the necessary staff and technology investment to give customers a solid flight experience.

On-time arrival data compiled by the Anuvu website showed that Delta led the way with 81.7 percent of its flights arriving on time last year – but that figure is down significantly from the 87.9 percent achieved in 2021.

Alaska Airlines, which mainly operates in Alaska and the western United States, had a particularly good year but was hit by a late-year storm that led Southwest to cancel thousands of flights.

Initiate said the number of flight cancellations overall increased by 69 percent last year, although most of these occurred in the first half of 2022 before progressive lawmakers such as Rep Ro Kahana and Sen Bernie Sanders demanded stronger protections for travellers.

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