Delta outpaced its large competitors in a range of operational areas for 2015 in the Wall Street Journal’s annual “Middle Seat Scorecard” of best and worst airlines.
Delta outpaced American Airlines and United Airlines in all seven categories the Journal examined (paywall), and bested Southwest Airlines in four, plus overall ranking. Overall, Delta was rated third, behind smaller carriers with less complex operations: Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.
“(Delta) has worked to reduce cancellations to record-low levels and is trying to become more predictable for customers when bad weather does hit,” the Journal wrote Thursday. “Despite its strong operational performance in recent years, Delta still boosted its on-time percentage and reduced cancellations, mishandled bags and bumped passengers.”
Overall, the Journal gave the airline industry kudos for increasing reliability on the whole: “It's canceling fewer flights, staying on schedule more often and investing profits in better equipment and even more baggage handlers.”
Dave Holtz, Delta’s Senior Vice President-Operations/Customer Center, told the news organization, “I like the fact that all airlines are improving. I'm fairly heartened by where we are as an industry compared to 10 to 15 years ago."
The Journal’s scorecard ranked the top nine U.S. airlines in on-time arrivals, canceled flights, extreme delays, two-hour tarmac delays, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping and complaints.