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Susan Breslow Sardone

Airline Ratings

By May 26, 2014

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Do you care about airline quality when you shop for a flight? I do. I've logged a lot of miles on a lot of lousy airlines (I'm looking at you, US Airways, although Captain Sullenberger did much to rehabilitate your image).

I've also witnessed passengers at other airlines being treated no better than cattle (that would be Ryanair). So I don't only search for a flight based on price; I care about quality, too.

I've also been pleasantly surprised by some airlines: Virgin Atlantic offers a vast entertainment selection; when I flew the carrier to Africa and back I never ran out of things to watch (okay, they neglected to load my luggage onto the plane, but I did receive it intact 48 hours later).

Then there's Jet Airways, which serves passengers in all classes a flying feast conceived by a Michelin-starred chef. Little things -- cloth napkins, real china and silverware, a smile from a flight attendant, and that great food -- can go a long way toward earning customer loyalty.

Now before I book a flight, I check the airline ratings around the Web and at the Airline Quality site. And that's one reason I'm not going to be boarding an Alitalia flight any time soon....

Are there airlines that you love -- or avoid at all costs? Add your comments or ratings below.

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May 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm
(1) Isabelle says:

You’re totally right about airline quality. It does matter. So far I had a bad experience with Delta Airlines. And good experiences with Continental Airlines. But I think a lot has to do with the crew on board of your flight as well. But a smile and good service go a long way :)

May 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm
(2) Sal says:

I love it how everyone wants to pay practically nothing for their airfare but expect 1st class service all the way…. Years ago, flying was a luxury…. nowadays, people travel with ripped t-shirts & torn jeans, wearing flip flops as if they were in their own living room. If you’re traveling on a discount airline don’t expect much. As for complaining about airlines, there is good & bad with all of them.

June 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(3) Ed says:

A fun and timely piece. Good comments from viewers, too.

June 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm
(4) Debbie says:

My last flight was a total disaster! Going through security is a total nightmare and the ones that are in charge seem to delight in making you as miserable as possible. They took my bottle of perfume because it was a quarter of an inch taller than it should have been, but I had some other things that they ignored..the woman kept telling me how bad she felt and that the day before she’d had to take a woman’s bottle $350 bottle of perfume! They don’t trash these things they keep them for themselves! They give you nothing for the most part to put on your feet (one exception) while you have to walk without your shoes on, belt if you are wearing one and everything you have sprawled out in trays while they search through them. I just happen to be a average person…by no means do I fit any type of profiling unless being blonde and less than four feet tall is considered a danger! I did try to get an earlier flight and was told it would be $150 if I changed, so said never mind I’d keep my original schedule. When arriving at the airport I checked to see if there were any availble flights that were earlier than my original flight and was told yes and it would be only $50 to change them, but when he checked they had no extra seats on that flight, but it sure did make a difference in price than what I was told over the phone. While I appreciate the precautions taken for our safety there is a case of over doing it. Let’s get real here! Take the fact a mother was not allowed to take water on the plane for her child which was in a sippy cup. Now, you don’t get food and it is very seldom if ever that you get a soft drink or water. No wonder so many people would prefer to sit at home or drive than fly and be treated as a criminal. One more note I’m sick of having to press 1 to speak English! Hello, this is America and if you want to hear another language, then press 1….they don’t want to learn to live by our rules, then let them go back to where they came from…I’m just sick of it.

June 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm
(5) JT says:

It seems as if you are upset because they would not let you brake all the rules. You probably have no accountability outside of the airport either. I have an idea- show up at the airport prepared and squared away passengers will not have to wait behind you while you argue with counter help.

You press one for English to get on with your call quicker. You pay change fees to prevent utter chaos on flights. You pack your perfume in your checked bag. You bring socks if you are afraid of dirty floors. You can purchase all the water you want inside of security. You can fill your sippy cup for free at the water fountain.
Why don’t you get real here and drive from now on. The less self centered people in the airport the better. And the blonde profile fits.

June 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm
(6) Andrea says:

Very interesting article!! I’m taking a long overdue honeymoon in a few weeks……hopefully my luggage will arrive !! LOL…..Usually I JUST take a carry on, but foe 9 days, I’ll need to check a bag!! The other posts were comical !!

August 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm
(7) Loren says:

Alaska and Jet Blue have been the best to fly with so far… except when Jet Blue panicked and canceled a flight from Buffalo to Boston due to a storm that wasn’t anywhere close. I got home fine on Northwest and the storm came through the next day. American was fine until I had a problem with Gulfstream causing me to miss a flight and Gulfstream lied about taking care of things with American. Then the American personnel became hostile in response to me apologizing for any possible hint of frustration at the start of the discussion. After 20 hours in Miami, one of the worst, most hostile, obnoxious and confusing airports anywhere, I finally got onto the second plane that American told me that I would be able to board only to have my luggage permanently lost. US Airways delayed and rerouted me some 4000 miles out of my way and then gave me a nice voucher for an $80 room that is normally $90. That trip only took an extra 16 hours over the advertised travel time. The lines at customer service for US Airways progressed all of 4 people (no exaggeration) in more than an hour and calling them was no better. Note: their customer service desks are at the END of the terminals, not at the beginning so you have to walk an extra quarter mile to get to and from them. Bahamas Air was 2 hours late with no communications whatsoever and then lost my luggage. Now they don’t return phone calls and I have little hope of ever getting a settlement, let alone my actual luggage back. To end on a positive note, when my Alaska flight was delayed (partially due to US Airways refusing to leave the gate so they could pull the plane up), Alaska gave everyone a free night in a nearby hotel, including breakfast. Their personnel tend to be very friendly and I have never had any reason to complain about them.

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