Virgin America best U.S. airline, United worst: study

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Counsellor, Apr 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Awesome, I am going to change all my flying to VX from UA. Should be easy since I am based at SFO. Life will be sooo much better for me.
     
  3. maksim

    maksim Silver Member

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    I flew virgin America from NYC jfk to las a few years ago. They really are nice planes as well as service.

    Sticklers for bag weight and size though. My bag was 1lb over... Made me pay to check it in.

    Tickets are also sometimes very expensive.

    Delta for me is just the right balance. Good flights, good service and no... "We are better than you" feel from the staff or yuppie flyers.
     
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  4. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Below is the current numerical ranking of the nation's leading 14 airlines, according to the Airline Quality Rating, with the previous year's ranking in parentheses:
    1. Virgin America (new to the ranking this year)
    2. JetBlue (3)
    3. AirTran (1)
    4. Delta (6)
    5. Hawaiian (2)
    6. Alaska (5)
    7. Frontier (4)
    8. Southwest (7)
    9. US Airways (8)
    10. American (10)
    11. American Eagle (15)
    12. SkyWest (9)
    13. ExpressJet (not rated in 2011)
    14. United (12)
    On-time performance - Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time performance (93.4 percent) for 2012, and ExpressJet and American had the lowest (76.9 percent).
    Eight airlines improved their on-time arrival performance in 2012. Nine of the 14 airlines rated had an on-time arrival percentage of better than 80 percent. On-time for the industry in 2012 was 81.8 percent compared to 80.0 percent in 2011.
    Denied boardings - JetBlue had the lowest involuntary denied boardings at 0.01 per 10,000 passengers. SkyWest had the highest involuntary denied boarding rate at 2.32 per 10,000 passengers.
    Overall, five airlines improved their denied boardings rate in 2012. American Eagle recorded the greatest improvement, and SkyWest had the largest decline. JetBlue and Virgin American are clearly the industry leaders in avoiding denied boarding incidents.
    Industry performance was worse in 2012 (0.97 per 10,000 passengers) than it was in 2011 (0.78).
    Baggage handling - Virgin America had the best baggage handling rate (0.87 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) of all airlines, and American Eagle had the worst baggage handling rate (5.80 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) of all the airlines.
    Seven of 14 airlines improved their mishandled baggage performance for the year. The rate for the industry decreased from 3.35 per 1,000 passengers in 2011 to 3.07 in 2012.
    Consumer complaints - Southwest again had the lowest consumer complaint rate (0.25 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines. United had the highest consumer complaint rate (4.24 per 100,000 passengers) of the airlines rated.
    Customer complaints per 100,000 passengers increased from 1.19 in 2011 to 1.43 in 2012. The majority of complaints were for flight problems (32.7 percent), reservations, ticketing and boarding (14.6 percent), customer service (14.3 percent), and baggage (12.4 percent).
    Here is the link to the full report: http://airlinequalityrating.com
     
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  5. sdm1130
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    sdm1130 Gold Member

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    It's easy to be the best airline when you aren't concerned about actually making money.
     
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  6. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    It's also easy to be the worst airline when all you're concerned about is making money in the short term.
     
  7. LETTERBOY
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    Until VX goes belly-up. :)
     
  8. LETTERBOY
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    Good for them. Rules are rules.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Okay, so I just tried to buy a ticket from Skywest. Much too my surprise (not!) they don't actually sell any tickets:

    http://skywest.com/fly-skywest-airlines/checkin/

    They just fly airplanes for other major carriers. I wonder who then decides how many tickets to sell for a given, say, Skywest-for-United flight. And who decides how many tickets to sell for a Skywest-for-Delta flight.

    Seems to me it makes no sense to list Skywest separately. Its own number is likely a meaningless aggregate of the denied boardings forced upon it by the mainline carriers. And on the flip side the numbers might very well influence the relative ranking of the mainline carriers if they were actually attributed to them.

    After 23 years of doing these "surveys" I would have thought the authors would realize this, too.
     
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  11. LETTERBOY
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    You actually expect the media to be accurate about something? :eek::p
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Not the media, but university professors doing the study.
     
  13. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    United is equally strict. I am 1K, and I can't check a 71 pound bag unless I am willing to fork over $400. I live in Costa Rica, so heading home where I'm always heavy. I do not understand why non-Premiers pay $200 for 51-70 pounds and $400 for 71-100 pounds, while as a 1K I pay $0 up to 70 pounds and $400 for 71-100 pounds. Seems like they would give me a break similar to the 51-70 pound rule, but I guess there aren't enough of us to get their attention with this complaint.

    I switched to CO from AA after an agent in ABQ wanted to charge me extra for a 51 pound bag (I was Gold). I was regularly permitted to carry up to 55 pounds without any grief, but this agent and her supervisor were both rigid and rude. It wasn't the even itself that caused me to leave AA, but rather the incredibly rude series of phone calls/emails that resulted from my non-complaining attempt to draw the discrepancy to their attention. They never did understand that I wasn't at all upset about the overweight charge, but rather the rude way it was presented and the inconsistency of the policy enforcement. That makes it hard to plan for, even with a bag scale.

    AA's timing was bad, as that was precisely the time that my travel habits soared. I've been flying over 100K per year since I left, and they now earn exactly $0/year from me after 25 years in the AAdvantage program, and nearly 500,000 miles. I don't hate them, but I'm not willing to do business with any company that treats me like I mean absolutely nothing to them.

    While I loved CO, the merger definitely damaged the CO/UA image in my eyes, but I must admit that they are improving. Ssslllooowwwlllyyy, but improving nonetheless. I don't pick my airline by the results of a survey, but rather a combination of their service, their pricing and the convenience of options to the cities to which I fly. Of course, the outright abuse I received from AA was the last straw of many straws over the many years where they were my primary carrier. Based on prior experiences over the years, I was not totally shocked by their reaction.
     
  14. maksim

    maksim Silver Member

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    Let me rephrase that... this was my carry on bag, not my checked bag.

    I could of removed something from the bag, which I usually have a laptop in, and moved it to personal item, but I was given the dirty look and told no.

    Don't get me wrong. I have no issues with paying for overweight bag... which I have never had that was checked in. This was for a carry on. Not once, did I have any airline weight my carry on.

    So its ok.... I spend ALOT more money flying Delta, US and United. Most of all, I don't have to go to JFK. In reality. my biggest pet peeve was the attitude by the gate agent.
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Because they really want to discourage overweight bags as much as possible?
     
  16. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    OK. I get it, but I read two things consistently on these threads: "rules are rules" & "They'll do anything to make a buck." This may be a combination of both, as exceeding the 70 pound rule certainly would make them a few bucks, but there is nothing that I want to bring back so much that I would both pay $400 to bring it AND put it in a checked bag to be handled by baggage sadists. There are, however, quite a few things that I might pay $200 to bring back from time to time. Not every time, as $200 isn't chump change.

    Remember... We're talking about (up to) an extra 30 pounds for non-Premiers and Silvers, and it's the same (up to) extra 30 pounds for Golds, Platinums and 1Ks. If up to 30 pounds is worth $200 more to the non-status and Silvers, why should it be worth $400 to the more frequent customers? Keep in mind that it all must fit into the same space, as this does not allow for oversized charges, so it's just 30 pounds.

    A year ago, I weighed 50 pounds more than I do today. Funny, but I'm paying more for tickets this year than last. :confused:
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But maybe killing the backs of their employees (and paying for it) requires that amount to account for medical costs?
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It is also a safety issue for the folks moving those bags around the system. And the gap from 50-70 is only 20 pounds. ;)

    How often did you have rampers carrying you to your seat?? :D

    You should travel more. ;)

    Lots of airlines have rules about carry-on weights. Those which do often enforce them.
     
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  19. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'll never understand why it seems that nobody "gets" this. ::heavy sigh::
     
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  20. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Not to mention that a lot of the IDBs are likely W&B issues with Skywest.

    There are a TON of media misconceptions about flying out there. The big one for me are the reporters camped out at airports on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eves doing the live shot to say "nothing new to report here, back to you and the bubble-headed bleach blonde in the studio."

    They don't get the idea that the loads are tight almost 365 days a year and the airlines always adjust, thus nothing new to report.
     
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  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Actually loads do vary rather notably day to day. But Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't the busiest travel times. Late summer is.
     
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