Consumer Reports is a non-biased, nonprofit organization that offers ratings on thousands of products and services. Recently, the magazine released its ratings on the 11 largest airlines in the United States.
For First and Business Class flights, the magazine surveyed 5,059 respondents who made, in total, 8,702 flights. For flights in Economy, Consumer Reports surveyed 52,507 people who took 97,765 flights.
The airline rankings are based on a reader score, with 100 being a perfect score, 80 being satisfied and 60 means somewhat satisfied. The survey looked at pricing transparency, how easy it was to check in, flight information and status, comfort, legroom, customer service, cleanliness of the planes, Wi-Fi, in-flight entertainment and selection of free snacks, along with paid drinks and food. Consumer Reports offered two ratings, one for Business/First Class and one for Economy.
In Business or First Class, the magazine rated five airlines. Both Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines garnered 89 points, while Delta came in at 85 points. American Airlines got a score of 80, while United was right behind with a score of 79.
Here are the rankings for Economy class:
- Southwest Airlines: 85
- Alaska Airlines: 84
- JetBlue Airways: 83
- Virgin America: 83
- Hawaiian Airlines: 80
- Delta Air Lines: 75
- Allegiant Airlines: 70
- American Airlines: 68
- United Airlines: 67
- Frontier Airlines: 63
- Spirit Airlines: 62
All 11 airlines surveyed received low marks for seat comfort and legroom, and most airlines didn't do well with Wi-Fi connectivity and in-flight entertainment. Anyone who flies regularly shouldn't be too surprised by the rankings.