Power Rankings: February 19, 2016

On Friday’s The Fly Guys bring you rankings of the major U.S. airlines. Rankings will be based on how each carrier ranked in the news over the previous week. Customer service stories will be weighted the most.

The ULCCs struggled mightily this round as performance and image problems continue to plague the carriers.

Rank Airline Move Comments
1 Alaska +2 Alaska turned in the second best on-time performance in 2015 (behind Hawaiian). Also, two new routes out of San Jose put Alaska in the top spot this week. Look out for more route announcements in the coming weeks…
2 American -1 American continues to try to improve its in-flight experience by trying to get out of its contract with Gogo in favor of faster ViaSat. AA also announced further lounge improvements this week. The deal struck for daytime flights to Haneda was also a win. The bad news for American this week was its complaint rate from 2015. AA had over four times as many complaints as its rival Delta, and roughly doubled the number received about United.
3 Delta +6 A solid couple of weeks after a rocky start to the year for Delta. Delta also announced another new deal to improve the quality of food onboard its flights.
4 Virgin America +1 A good looking Q4 report came out this week. Palm Springs will now become a year-round destination as well.
5 Southwest +3 What will WN do with those Long Beach slots? The Fall ’16 schedule was released this week, and not too many surprises with a scaled back growth plan.
6 JetBlue -2 Not too much coming out of B6. Have to keep an eye on those runaway vans though.
7 United -5 Could a strike be looming at United? The mechanics have rejected the most recent deal, and are now initiating motions to begin a strike.
8 Frontier -2 As was expected, Frontier was the second most chronically complained about airline in 2015 according to the D.O.T. Frontier also left passengers stranded on a taxiway for three hours with no air circulation before cancelling the flight. The reason? The captain turned off the engines to save fuel while deicing and couldn’t get them restarted.
9 Spirit -2 Congrats to Spirit Airlines! You are the winners of the most hated airline on Twitter, airline with the highest complaint rate, and holder of the worst on-time performance in 2015! The only thing keep you out of the basement is not having a safety image problem.
10 Allegiant 0 I’m offering free marketing advice to Allegiant. You need to get ahead of the maintenance issues! Another diversion on Feb 12 to BHM. Then cancelled a flight from Fargo, N.D. last week due to maintenance, only to have the replacement flight cancel for the same reason!
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