If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of digging through airline ratings, but are still determined to see which carriers provide the best airlines and worst airlines, you’ve come to the right place.
The good news for consumers: Airline ratings for on-time performance are improving, while complaints are falling. The bad news: Integration challenges and growing pains are creating turbulence for what traditionally has been one of the best airlines.
The top 16 U.S. airlines posted an average on-time rate of just under 84% in September, according to the Transportation Department’s (DOT) most recent report. That’s a step up from the airlines rating recorded the month and year before.
Airlines also dramatically reduced tarmac delays in September. For the month, there were only two tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights. Plus, overall consumer complaints also fell, despite high complaints at some of the worst airlines. The total of 1,008 complaints about airline service from consumers was a 7% drop year-over-year and 24% drop month-over-month.
Meanwhile, airline ratings didn’t budge for mishandled bags, as the rate held steady year-over-year.
Here’s a breakdown of those airline ratings, with rankings for the best airlines and worst airlines as measured by on-time flights, mishandled baggage and consumer complaints: