A Friend of Unfair Park passes along The Wall Street Journal's latest look-see at how well the big carriers handle passengers and their luggage, and per the annual Middle Seat survey the two locally based airlines don't do so well when it comes to getting your bags to your destination. As in: American Airlines is the worst, followed by Southwest. Matter of fact, American's dead-last when it comes to overall customer service -- so that's the middle finger, says the Middle Seat, which compiles data from myriad sources, including the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Last year, American was worst among major carriers at baggage handling and had the highest percentage of canceled flights. The rate at which American canceled flights was 70% higher than at United, Delta and the industry average for major airlines, which the DOT defines as those with more than $1 billion in operating revenue. ...Still, the article also notes Southwest had the fewest passenger complaints, per the DOT. Read the whole thing here before you book your next trip. Business as usual, indeed.
Southwest Airlines, the only major airline that doesn't charge fees to check two pieces of luggage, had the second-worst rate of mishandled bags, better than only American. Bags fly free, but they don't always get there. Excluding AirTran Airways, which Southwest acquired in May, Southwest would have been the industry's worst at baggage handling. In addition to added volume, Southwest's baggage operation has struggled with complexity of connecting lots of different flights in lots of different cities.