America’s Meanest Airlines: 2011
Last year was a good one for the airline industry, with U.S. airlines churning out the highest profits in more than a decade. With the exception of American Airlines, every major carrier turned in positive profits for the year.
In the 2011 Airline Quality Rating (AQR) report released on April 4, quality is up as well.
But that doesn’t mean airlines deserve high-fives all around. Soaring baggage fees, widespread airfare increases and the elimination of free food on many flights were major factors in improving the bottom line. Not surprisingly, customers were not happy in 2010. According to a Business Insider study conducted last November, which uses data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, four of the major U.S. carriers made its list of the “18 Worst Companies in America.” The year also saw PR nightmares for the industry, including discrimination against disabled and overweight passengers and the episode involving a JetBlue flight attendant (the now famous Steven Slater) hitting his breaking point. 2011 has already seen a pilot misplace his handgun and a flight attendant put a baby in an overhead bin– hardly a good way to start the year….. continued.