Delta Air Lines is the best carrier in the U.S., according to annual rankings by Airfarewatchdog.com, a website that helps consumers find travel deals.
The rankings are based on performance in four areas tracked by the U.S. Department of Transportation: canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags and denied boardings, along with a customer satisfaction score from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.
Delta, which placed sixth in both 2012 and 2013, is “this year’s unsung hero,” Airfarewatchdog announced on its site. “Delta ranks higher this year in canceled flights, on-time arrivals and mishandled bags, but its most-improved area is customer service.”
The other legacy carriers didn't fare as well. United Airlines came in last place at number eight, while American placed seventh.
Virgin America snagged the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row.
Delta’s No. 1 ranking was a result of strong showings in each of the five categories the survey measured. It came in first place for fewest canceled flights (just 0.11 percent), second in on-time arrivals (84.4 percent), fourth in mishandled bags (1.93 per 1,000 passengers), fourth in denied boardings (74 per million passengers) and third in the customer satisfaction index.
The complete 2014 rankings are below:
1. Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL)
2. Virgin America
3. Alaska, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group Inc (NYSE:ALK)
4. JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ:JBLU)
6. Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV), including Southwest and AirTran
7. American Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), including American and US Airways
8. United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL)