The Wall Street Journal named JetBlue the worst airline in the U.S. for the second year in a row.
Delta Air Lines ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year.
The report ranks the airlines by the following seven metrics: on-time arrivals, canceled flights, extreme delays, two-hour tarmac delays, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping, and complaints.
U.S. airlines did not have a very good year, according to the publication, due to staffing shortages, bad weather, aggressive scheduling, and high travel demand. The average rate of flight cancellations for major U.S. carriers in 2022 was 2.6%, up from 1.8% in 2021 and 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“JetBlue earned the title no airline wants — worst performing U.S. carrier — because it posted relatively poor numbers in nearly every category,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.
JetBlue scored ninth in the categories of extreme delays and two-hour tarmac delays, and eighth in on-time arrivals and canceled flights. The airline’s best category was involuntary bumping, where it came in fourth.
“For over 20 years, JetBlue has been delivering a unique experience that customers love — including free Wi-Fi, the most legroom in coach, seatback entertainment, friendly crewmembers, and everyday low fares,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in an email to Boston.com. “As a result, JetBlue has consistently been ranked one of the top ranked airlines by customers.”
The JetBlue spokesperson added: “The Wall Street Journal rankings do not reflect how the congested space in which we fly disproportionately affects JetBlue compared to other airlines. The Northeast is by far the most congested airspace in the U.S., with more air traffic control delays and weather delays than any other region. In 2022, 76% of our operations touched congested airspace compared to 42% for our closest competitor and other competitors ranging from 7% to 32%.”
The airline noted its significantly improved completion factor in the second half of 2022, said it didn’t cancel a single flight during the Thanksgiving travel period, and had one of the highest completion factors during the Christmas and New Year’s travel periods.
“Additionally, our acquisition of Spirit Airlines will diversify our network outside of the congested Northeast, giving us greater operational resiliency and increased relevance to customers,” the airline wrote.
Southwest Airlines, which had an end-of-the-year meltdown, ranked third.
“The results come with a big asterisk,” wrote The Wall Street Journal. “Baggage handling and complaint data for December 2022 won’t be available for a couple of months and won’t factor into our rankings until next year.”
The Wall Street Journal’s 15th annual airline scorecard used data from aviation data company Anuvu and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Check out The Wall Street Journal‘s Airline Scorecard.
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