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Best, Worst US Airlines for Customer Service

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Almost everyone has had a terrible airline experience at some point in their life. However, the numbers show that not all carriers are created equal when it comes to customer service.

So, which are the best at making customers happy and which have room for improvement?

Austin, Texas-based air travel industry-watcher site Upgraded Points recently analyzed U.S. government air travel consumer reports from November 2018 through August 2019 to determine how America’s top airlines stack up when it comes to customer service.

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Hawaiian Airlines (86.5 percent), Delta Air Lines and (82.4 percent) and Minneapolis-based regional carrier Endeavor Air (81.9 percent) lead the way in terms of the highest percentage of on-time arrivals while ExpressJet (70 percent), Frontier Airlines (72 percent) and JetBlue (72 percent) fared the worst.

ExpressJet also had the highest percentage of canceled flights at 4.7 percent, followed by Envoy Air (3.8 percent) and Mesa Airlines (3.1 percent). On the flip side, Delta canceled only 0.2 percent of its flights, narrowly edging out Hawaiian Airlines (0.4 percent) and Allegiant Air (0.5 percent) for the best rate.

While Southwest Airlines (49,191) and American Airlines (47,243) had the most mishandled bags, Envoy Air finished with the worst rate, mishandling an average of 8.7 per 1,000. Budget carriers Allegiant Air (2.0 per 1,000) and Frontier Airlines (2.9 per 1,000) had the lowest rates.

However, Frontier also had the highest rate of average monthly complaints per 10,000 passengers at 27, tying Spirit Airlines. American Airlines received the most total complaints during the 10-month period Upgraded Points analyzed (1,571) but recorded only the third-worst rate at 17 per 10,000 passengers.

Skywest Airlines (5 per 10,000 passengers and 153 total), Endeavor Air (4 per 10,000 passengers and 36 total) and Southwest Airlines (3 per 10,000 passengers and 473 total) were among the least criticized.

Finally, Upgraded Points examined the type of complaints passengers filed, finding that Indianapolis-based regional airline Republic Airways was the most likely to receive a complaint about flight problems at 87.1 percent. Meanwhile, more than one-quarter (26.8 percent) of the complaints logged against Sun Country Airlines pertained to baggage and more than one-fifth (22.5 percent) of the complaints Allegiant Air received involved disabled passengers.

With international air travel growing by 4.5 percent last year, struggling airlines might not be under as much pressure as it seems to step up their customer service.

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