Delta Air Lines shines in recent study of carriers with the best customer service

Photo (c) Roman Tiraspolsky - Getty Images

American, JetBlue, and Frontier were criticized for various customer service lapses

Even though air travel is beginning to return to its pre-pandemic numbers, the issues airlines are running into with COVID-19 requirements, unseasonable weather, and labor shortages have put the aviation industry in a tough spot when it comes to catering to customers.

In a recent data story, UpgradedPoints examined how travelers feel about the service they’re receiving, with researchers comparing monthly averages for complaints, canceled flights, and mishandled baggage.

The best and worst carriers for customer service

Delta Air Lines subsidiary Endeavor Air took home the prize for the airline with the best customer service, with an overall score of 83.94 points. Delta Air Lines by itself also had a good showing, with a second-place customer service score of 75.77 points. 

The third-place airline was another regional carrier like Endeavor – SkyWest Airlines. Notably, the company’s customer service was put to the test just this week when hundreds of its flights were canceled

When it came to the airlines with the worst customer service scores, the last place finisher with a score of 29.06 was Frontier Airlines. The company continues to collect concerning comments from ConsumerAffairs reviewers. 

“Worst customer service ever. [The] price to cancel is $79. Even if you try to change your flight, [the] same price [is] $79,” wrote Rocky from Jensen Beach, Fla. in a ConsumerAffairs post. “What a joke. If you can avoid booking/flying with this airline you will be doing yourself a huge favor.”

JetBlue was close to being the big loser. Its total score was only 3 points higher than Frontier’s, at 32.64 overall. 

Canceled flights and mishandled baggage scores

Delta Air Lines earned some bonus points in the study by scoring first and second (with Endeavor) in the lowest percentage of canceled flights. The worst airline, according to the study, was Hawaiian Airlines. 

When it came to taking good care of a traveler’s bags, Allegiant beat out the competition by only mishandling 1.52 bags per 1,000 over an average month. UpgradedPoints’ Alex Miller says American Airlines lies on the other end of that spectrum. 

“No one mishandles bags like American, which is present in every single one of the top 5 spots [with its regional partners] here,” he wrote. “In fact, American mishandles approximately 30,262 bags per month, or about 7.37 bags per every 1,000. If you lump American in with Envoy and PSA? That number reaches 39,704, or 6.66 bags per every 1,000.”

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