12. Frontier Airlines
2015 Ranking: 11
Notes: Even though Frontier finished last on the list, the report shows that the low cost carrier has show significant improvement over 2015 in terms of customer complaints, the number of denied boardings, and on-time performance. In fact, Frontier's 76% on-time rate finished ahead of JetBlue. Unfortunately, Frontier's number of mishandled bags also increased.
11. Spirit Airlines
2015 Ranking: 13
Notes: Spirit takes the award for the most improved airline on the list. Unfortunately, that's more of a testament to how poorly they performed in 2015 rather than a statement on how well they did in 2016. Spirit's 74.3% on time percentage is the worst of the 12 airlines featured.
2015 Ranking: 9
Notes: ExpressJet operates regional flights on behalf of American, Delta, and United Airlines. Even though the airline's on-time performance increased to 79.8%, it's rate of denied boardings is the highest on the list.
9. American Airlines
2015 Ranking: 10
Notes: Even though American's on-time performance dipped to 79.4% in 2016, the airline showed improvement in the three other criteria on which the carrier is judged.
8. United Airlines
2015 Ranking: 8
Notes: In spite of recent events, United made significant performance improvements in 2016. On-time percentage improved from 78.2% in 2015 to 81.7%. In addition, the number of involuntary denied boarding fell to 0.43 per 10,000 passengers from 0.77, which is below the industry average of 0.62. In addition, the number of mishandled baggage and customer complaints also fell.
2015 Ranking: 7
Notes: SkyWest operates regional flights on behalf of Alaska, American, Delta, and United Airlines. Skywest made significant improvements on all four major criteria.
2015 Ranking: 6
Notes: Southwest boasts the lowest rate of consumer complaints of the 12 airlines covered in the study. Overall, the airline improved in all four criteria.
2015 Ranking: 4
Notes: Hawaiian boasts the best on-time performance in the study at 91.1%. In addition, it also has the fewest denied boarding at 0.05 per 10,000 passengers. However, the airline slipped both in terms of the number of customer complaints and mishandled bags.
2015 Ranking: 2
Notes: JetBlue show improvement in the number of mishandled bags and customer complaints. However, the airline on-time performance and its number of denied boardings suffered in 2016. It's 75% on-time performance is the second worst on the list.
3. Virgin America
2015 Ranking: 1
Notes: Virgin America, now a part of Alaska Air, saw its numbers slip in three of the four criteria. Only its number of denied boarding did not fall.
2015 Ranking: 3
Notes: Delta showed improvements in all four criteria. It's denied boarding rate of 0.10 per 10,000 passengers is the second best on the list.
1. Alaska Airlines
2015 Ranking: 5
Notes: For 2016, Alaska Airlines saw its on-time performance increase to 87.3% and the number of customer complaints hold idle. However, a 50% drop in the number of mishandled bags put the airline over the top.
"These results provide a rare insight into the airline merger arena. We have a carrier, Alaska, that wanted to improve performance, began improvement plans before any merger announcement, and is currently taking over the top performer, Virgin America. Going from fifth to first is rare, but a devoted corporate resolve can make that happen," said study co-researcher Brent Bowen, dean of College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus in a statement.
According to businessinsider.com