The yearly ranking is determined by metrics such as delays, canceled flights, involuntary denied boarding and complaints. This is the third consecutive year Delta received the award.
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Scott McCartney, veteran airline reporter for the Wall Street Journal, highlighted Delta for ranking No. 1 on the annual list of best U.S. airlines of 2019, despite “stronger everyday storms and more congestion” than last year — further separating Delta from competitors.

Some Delta competitors mentioned the rise in intense weather and increasing climate change as obstacles to maintaining and managing reliable operational performance.

Dave Holtz, Senior Vice President of Delta’s Operations and Customer Center shared with McCartney that, “While the weather itself is out of our control, how we react to that weather, plan for that weather and work through that weather is certainly within our control.”

McCartney also highlighted Delta’s continually improving industry-leading cancellation rate. “Delta says its mainline operation had 281 days with zero cancellations last year, 30 more than in 2018. Factoring in regional partners, the total number of days when 100 percent of flights were completed was 165, up 143 in 2018,” McCartney wrote.  

Delta improved its on-time arrival rate despite increased congestion and weather from the previous year. McCartney highlighted a significant gap between Delta ranked No. 1 and all competitors that follow in the ranking.

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