Best and Worst U.S. Airlines
Here are the top 10 U.S. airlines (major carriers) for 2012 and 2013. The listing is based on AirfareWatchdog’s annual best U.S. airlines list, which in turn is based on US DoT/ BTS data (Jun 2012 and Jun 2013).
- Rankings are from AirfareWatchdog, not the U.S. DoT (Department of Transportation) / BTS (Bureau of Transportation).
- The biggest changes in ranking were for Frontier jumping from 5th place in 2012 to 1st place in 2013, and for AirTran dropping from 3rd to 7th place.
- All of these airlines did worse on percentage of cancelled flights in 2013, compared to 2012.
- The biggest increase in cancelled flights was for AirTran, with about 1.22% more flights cancelled in 2013 than 2012.
- All airlines did worse in 2013 than in 2012 for on-time flights.
- The biggest decrease in on-time flights was for AirTran, with about 22.10% fewer on-time flights in 2013 than in 2012.
- All airlines did worse in 2013 than in 2012 for mishandled baggage.
- The biggest increase in mishandled baggage was for AirTran, with 3.7 more mishandled bags per 1000 passengers in 2013 than in 2012 — an increase of nearly 250% (248.32).
- Half the airlines had fewer denied boardings per million passengers, half had more — in 2013, compared to 2012.
- The biggest increase in denied boardings was 93 per million passengers for Frontier in 2013, compared to 45 per million in 2012 — an increase of about 205% (206.67%).
- The biggest decrease in denied boardings was 80 per million passengers for United in 2013, compared to 173 per million in 2012 — a decrease of about 45% (46.24%).
- The airline with the highest customer satisfaction score in 2013 was JetBlue with 83. In 2012 was JetBlue with 81. Scores are based on 2012 and 2013 ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) scores.
- The airline with the lowest customer satisfaction score in 2013 was United with 62, and again in 2012 with the same score.
- The airline with the highest increase in customer satisfaction was AirTran with 7 points more in 2013 (81) than in 2012 (74).
- The Business Insider Rank for airlines is based on a combination of J.D. Power & Associates’ 2013 North American Airline Satisfaction Study and DoT/ BTS data (May 31, 2012, to Jun 1, 2013), as well as Business Insider’s own unique scoring methodology.
Top 10 U.S. Airlines
Overall Ranking — based on all other scores, further below.
|Airline||2013 rank||2012 rank||Ranking Change|
Worst Airlines by Cancelled Flights
Cancelled Flights — based on percentage of all scheduled flights per airline.
|Airline||2013: % Cancelled||2012: % Cancelled||Change|
Best Airlines by On-Time Flights
On-Time Flights — percentage on-time.
|Airline||2013 % On-Time||2012 % On-Time||Change (rounded)|
Worst Airlines by Mishandled Baggage
Mishandled Baggage — Number of bags mishandled per 1000 passengers.
|Airline||2013 Mishandled Bags||2012 Mishandled Bags||Change||% Change|
Worst Airlines by Denied Boardings
Denied Boardings — Per 1 million passengers.
|Airline||2013 # Denied Boardings||2012 # Denied Boardings||Change||% Change|
Best Airlines by Consumer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction Score — Based on ACSI (American Consumer Survey Index) scores.
|Airline||2013 Score||2013 Rank||2012 Score||2012 Rank||Score Change|
Delays for Major U.S. Air Carriers
- From 1988 through 2012, the worst year for late departures is 2007, with approximately 1.57M (1,572,978) delayed flights out of about 7.46M (7,455,458) — or 21.1%.
- 2007 is also the worst year for late arrivals, with approximately 1.80M (1,804,028) flights — or 24.2%.
- Cancellations have historically (within 1988-2012) been a fairly small percentage of scheduled flights. The worst year was 2001, with 231K (231,198) cancelled flights of 5,967,780 — or 3.9%.
- Diversions are even less common, with 2008 being the worst year at 17,265 flights of about 7.01M (7,009,726) — or 24.63%.
- Bureau of Transportation Statistics note: Delayed flights refer to those that are late 15 minutes after the scheduled flight departure time, or which arrive 15 minutes after the schedule arrival time. For further details on this data, see http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_68.html
Mishandled Baggage for Largest U.S. Air Carriers
Here are mishandled baggage reports for the largest U.S. air carriers reporting, from 1990 to 2012.
- 1.78 million mishandled baggage reports in 2012; 574.51 million enplaned passengers; 3.09 reports per 1,000 passengers.
- Worst year by total number of baggage mishandling reports: 2007: 4.40 million reports; 624.69 million enplaned passengers; 7.05 reports per 1,000 passengers.
- Worst year by reports per 1,000 passengers: also 2007
- For further details about this data, see http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_65.html
|Year||Total mishandled-baggage reports (millions)||Enplaned passengers (domestic) (millions)||Reports per 1,000 passengers|
Percentage of Flights Arriving On Time for Largest U.S. Air Carriers
- 81.9% of flights in 2012 (by the largest U.S. air carriers) were on time.
- The best year since 1990 was 1991, with 82.5% on-time flights.
- The worst year since 1990 was 2000, with 72.6% on-time flights during this period.
- “A flight is considered on time if it arrived less than 15 minutes after the scheduled time shown in the carriers’ Computerized Reservations Systems. Canceled and diverted operations are counted as late.” For additional notes on this data, please see http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_66.html
Number of Airports by Year
- 19,782 — the number of airports in the U.S. (public, private and military use) in 2011.
- 5,172 — the number of public use airports in the U.S. in 2011.
- The total airports in the U.S. by year, from 1980-2011, in the table below.
Total Number of Departures and Passengers by Year
Here are the number of scheduled and performed departures, and enplaned passengers by year for 1990-2011.
- In the given period, 1991 had the minimum number of performed departures with 6.545M.
- 2007 had the maximum number of performed departures with about 10.842M (10,842,368).
- 1992 had the minimum number of scheduled departures with about 6.704M (6,703,670).
- 2007 had the maximum number of scheduled departures with about 10.533M (10,553,325).
- 1991 had the minimum number of enplaned passengers with about 428.32M (428,319,248).
- 2007 had the maximum number of enplaned passengers with about 718.74M (718,735,471).
- For more details on this data, see http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_37.html
|Year||Total Aircraft Departures Performed||Total Aircraft Departures Scheduled||Enplaned Revenue Passengers|
Top 10 Airports by Passengers
Here are the top 10 U.S. airports based on the number of passengers enplaned in 2012. Data for 2011 and 2002 is provided for comparison.
- The top 5 airports held the same rank for 2011 and 2012.
- The only different for the top 5 from 2002 to 2012 is that LAX moved from 4th to 5th, and DEN moved from 5th to 4th thanks to a 56.9% increase in passenger enplanements.
- LAX had a 21.1% increase in enplaned passengers from 2002 to 2012.
- The biggest percentage increase in passenger enplanements from 2011 to 2012 was for OAK (Oakland, CA) with +8.9%, going from approximately 4.45M (4,454,792) to approximately 4.85M (4,851,495) passengers enplaned.
- The biggest percentage decrease from 2011 to 2012 was for MEM (Memphis, TN) with -22.7%, going from 4,336,363 (rank 41) to 3,352,014 (rank 50) passengers enplaned.
- The biggest percentage increase in passenger enplanements from 2002 to 2012 was for CLT (Charlotte, NC) with 88.2%, going from 10,588,836 (rank 18) to 19,928,299 (rank 6) passengers enplaned — an increase of approximately 25.5K (25,587) extra passengers per day, on average.
- The biggest percentage decrease in passenger enplanements from 2002 to 2012 was for PIT (Pittsburgh, PA) with -50.9%, going from 7,869,004 (rank 24) to 3,866,507 (rank 45) — a decrease of approximately 11K (10,965) passengers per day, on average.
- Approximately 574M (573,663,258) passengers were enplaned collectively at the top 50 U.S. airports in 2012, compared to approximately 568M (567,985,993) in 2011 and approximately 490M (489,565,065) in 2002. 2012 figures were an increase of about 1% over 2011 and 17.2% over 2002.
- For the top 50 U.S. airports, an average of about 1.56M passengers per day were enplaned in 2012, compared to 1.57M for 2011 and 1.34M for 2002. This equates to an average of 31.1K passengers enplaned per airport per day in 2012, 31.4K in 2011, and 26.8K in 2002.
- For all U.S. airports, total enplaned passengers was approximately 692M (692,260,306) in 2012, compared to approximately 688M (687,860,706) in 2011. This averages to about 1.88M passengers enplaned per day in 2012, 1.90M in 2011, and 1.70M in 2002.
- For further information about this data, please see http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_44.html
|Airport||Code||2011 Rank||2011 Total Enplaned Passengers||2012 Rank||2012 Total Enplaned Passengers||% change 2011-2012||2002 Rank||2002 Total Enplaned Passengers||% change 2002-2012|
|Atlanta, GA ( Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International)||ATL||1||43,869,381||1||45,192,870||3||1||37,098,528||21.8|
|Chicago, IL ( Chicago O’Hare International))||ORD||2||29,781,567||2||29,983,544||0.7||2||28,762,254||4.2|
|Dallas/Fort Worth, TX ( Dallas/Fort Worth International)||DFW||3||27,184,184||3||27,555,896||1.4||3||24,221,233||13.8|
|Denver, CO ( Denver International)||DEN||4||25,397,404||4||25,511,455||0.4||5||16,262,860||56.9|
|Los Angeles, CA ( Los Angeles International)||LAX||5||24,433,941||5||24,982,954||2.2||4||20,635,458||21.1|
|Charlotte, NC ( Charlotte Douglas International)||CLT||7||18,926,433||6||19,928,299||5.3||18||10,588,836||88.2|
|Phoenix, AZ ( Phoenix Sky Harbor International)||PHX||6||19,444,304||7||19,221,241||-1.1||6||16,231,688||18.4|
|San Francisco, CA ( San Francisco International)||SFO||10||17,410,143||8||18,567,216||6.6||13||12,406,057||49.7|
|Las Vegas, NV ( McCarran International)||LAS||8||18,503,661||9||18,467,290||-0.2||7||15,699,600||17.6|
|Houston, TX ( George Bush Intercontinental/Houston)||IAH||9||18,414,660||10||18,155,248||-1.4||8||15,234,668||19.2|
Information for this article was collected from the following pages and web sites: