Last year, the travel industry was shaky in the U.S. For one, it experienced an abundance of staffing shortages and flight cancellations as the world returned to traveling post-pandemic.
Air lines grappled with the issues, but apparently, some did better than others. Wall Street Journal released its 15th annual scorecard to show who led and who fell behind.
Depending on your own experiences, you may not be surprised to learn Delta Air Lines took home the trophy for least-reported complaints regarding cancellation rates. But the airline’s 2022 on-time arrival rate dropped by 6%, coming in at 81.7 percent compared to 87.9% in 2021 and 83.4% in 2019.
Delta’s Chief Executive Ed Bastian recently said last year was “the most difficult operational year in our history.” But despite having its challenges, Delta still ranked high in almost every other category scored, including having the lowest rate of involuntary bumping and canceled flights, Travel + Leisure reported.
Southwest had a Christmas hiccup that caused a lot of chaos for its passengers around the holidays. But still managed to have fewer overall problems than other carriers last year. The airline had the lowest rate of customer complaints and long tarmac delays. However, it wasn’t the same regarding canceled flights and involuntary bumping.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same for commercial airline Allegiant Air. The company had the lowest on-time arrival rate of 62.7%. An Allegiant spokeswoman blamed it on a “confluence of factors,” like weather, COVID-19 infections, and staffing shortages.
The same went for JetBlue. The airline faced several challenges and scored low in nearly every category, including delays, cancellations, mishandled baggage, and customer complaints.
On top of that, JetBlue had the most 2-hour-plus tarmac delays across all U.S. carriers and the second-most canceled flights.
JetBlue President Joanna Geraghty released a statement to the WSJ, saying it experienced many issues due to its hub being in the congested metro New York and the surrounding Northeastern area.
American Airlines and some other carriers had baggage issues in 2022. AA saw the highest rate of mishandled bags, with Frontier Airlines having the most complaints of any U.S. airline.
Notably, December’s baggage handling and complaint data weren’t reported at the time of WSJ’s report.