Airline Performance in 2023 – Winners and Losers | Airlines

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The airline industry suffered arguably its worst two years during 2021 and 2022. The pandemic can explain many critiques, but there was a lot of self-inflicted harm to go around. US carriers were no different, but a 2023 audit revealed a sharp reduction in cancellations and much improved on-time arrivals. Nagging concerns such as passenger complaints, tarmac delays, and baggage handling remain, but the rebound from 21/22 was laudable. 

The Wall Street Journal revealed its 16th annual airline scorecard, examining the overall performance of the largest US airlines. Numbers one and two remained constant compared to 2022 and 2021, but from there, quite a few carriers moved up and down the rankings in 2023.

Delta Air Lines

For the third consecutive year, Delta placed number one. Over the last seven years, the Atlanta-based airline has secured the leader position a remarkable six times. Delta placed no worse than fifth among the seven equally weighted operations metrics and was exemplary in a handful. Their best on-time arrival rate was notable, and Delta registered the lowest complaint rate. 

One of the strategies that has consistently worked well for Delta is offering generous perks to customers who voluntarily switch flights due to overbooking. The volunteer walks away with a perk, and the flight takes off on time despite the overbooking. The one area that can improve with Delta, however, is cancelations. 

Alaska Airlines

Coming in number two was Alaska Airlines. The Washington carrier scored on par with Delta except for mishandled baggage…

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