Despite a $25 first and second checked bag charge, Virgin America was the only airline to snag a top score for baggage handling. Although the airline is still struggling financially, it consistently receives high consumer ratings. The survey is based on queries to 16,663 subscribers conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center and based on a combined mileage of up to 31,732 domestic flights.
“While other airlines on the list like Southwest and JetBlue have done a very good job of satisfying fliers, Virgin America is a cut above in the eyes of our readers,” said Amanda Walker, Senior Editor, Consumer Reports.
Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways also got high scores, most likely due to the fact they’re the only carriers on the list that let fliers check one (JetBlue) or two (Southwest) bags for free. Both also got high ratings for check-in ease and cabin-crew service, but JetBlue scored higher for cabin cleanliness. Spirit Airlines got the lowest marks across the board, a poor showing the magazine suggests could be due to its wide array of fees. Readers also didn’t like the seating space—the tightest in the industry. The large carriers: Delta, US, American and United came in in places seven to ten, respectively, relatively low in a list of ten. The full report is online at ConsumerReports.org and in the July 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
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