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Alaska Airlines bumps Southwest from top spot in WSJ's annual rankings

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Everyone who flies has a complaint, from extra bag fees to delayed flights.

But the Wall Street Journal's annual Middle Seat Scorecard for customer-service rankings shows some of the major carriers are doing a lot right.

Delta finished last overall in 2010, but ended up second among the nation's seven biggest carriers in rankings that consider on-time arrivals, delays, lost bags, customer complaints bumped passengers and cancelled flights.

"They've made some technological upgrades, they've gotten better at tracking baggage, they've made that system more efficient so they can tell where bags are often and more easily so that's really helped them," says Ben Mutzabaugh who writes the Today in the Sky travel blog at USA Today.

And he says this is an annual ranking the airlines pay attention to.

Some are surprised that Southwest lost it's number one spot this year. They finished third overall, but near the bottom when it comes to losing bags.

"You better believe there are folks at Southwest headquarters in Dallas figuring, 'okay, everything else is working okay, we've gotta get this baggage thing figured out,'" Mutzabaugh says.

Dropping one spot to dead last is bankrupt American Airlines.

And topping the list, a surprise to many, is the smallest of the big seven, Alaska Airlines.

Alaska ranked number one overall as well as number one for on-time arrivals, fewest excessive delays, and fewest cancelled flights. They were second in handling customer complaints.

Alaska flies out of Reagan to Seattle and LAX non-stop.

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