This week's Airline Quality Rating survey gives budget travelers some pleasant reassurance, with low-cost carriers such as JetBlue, AirTran, and Southwest topping the service lists.
Here's the list of the mid-year winners and losers:
The Best Airlines
Most On-Time Arrivals: Hawaiian Airlines
Fewest Denied Boardings: JetBlue
Fewest Mishandled Bags: AirTran
Fewest Customer Complaints: Southwest Airlines
The Worst Airlines
Fewest On-Time Arrivals: American Airlines
Most Denied Boardings: Atlantic Southeast Airlines
Most Mishandled Bags: American Eagle
Most Costumer Complaints: United Airlines
The results above are from the first six months of 2008, the most recent data available in 15 categories from the U.S. Transportation Department.
Researchers found that overall airline performance continued on a five-year downward trend in passenger care. But year over year, the nation's major airlines improved in on-time arrivals, as well as the rates of denied boardings and customer complaints.