Delta named best airline of 2022, JetBlue the worst: WSJ

Yahoo Finance Live’s Brad Smith breaks down the best and worst airlines of 2022, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: The Wall Street journal published its 15th annual airline scorecard ranking the US’s major airlines. Let’s get to Yahoo finance’s Brad Smith for an analysis of the best and worst flight operators. Any surprises here for you, Brad?

BRAD SMITH: You know, it was an interesting list, and there were a few surprises peppered in, but I think one that’s no surprise is what took the top here. Let’s take a look at the scorecard. Delta actually came in at the top here. And it actually ranked higher in three categories than any other airline here. So it was number one in three categories. And there were a range of categories, everything from who was doing the best in terms of complaints, who was managing luggage the best as well, and then who was just on time or who was delayed the most.

And so there, you’re taking a look at some of the rankings, the scorecards. I was actually surprised that Alaskan Airlines did as well as they did. But that came in at number two, and then Southwest at number three. So those were your top three. And you could see where some of the rest stacked up. Jetblue bringing up the caboose here. And let’s take a look at some of the year over year performance to see where airlines have trended.

And one thing that you can make note of is the fact that Delta, yeah, they’ve held on to that number one position for two years now. However, one of the biggest moves that we did see to the downside, yeah, that Spirit here went from number four all the way to a net, net number seven at the end of the day. And then more here, we’re kind of looking at Jetblue. And one interesting thing about where all of these airlines ranked, I mentioned Alaskan Airlines and how they came in overall at number two. They were actually the second worst, though, in mishandled baggage. Only American Airlines did worse in handling people’s baggage.

However, on the other side of this, you had Southwest that was actually the best in complaints, however, with the caveat there, because this was actually measured over 12 months that concluded in October. So perhaps some of those cancellations and the headaches that really plagued travelers who were flying with Southwest over the 2022 holiday season, that best showed up or was apparent in some of the canceled flight recordings as well there because that was more of a full year scope there, Rachelle. So that’s where we really saw that kind of stack up.

And in terms of some of the stock price movement here on the day on this report because at the end of the day, it’s a question of how investors evaluate this, but also what do consumers read into this, and how does this change their own perception, and perhaps who they may book with in the future? You’re taking a look at some of the travel stocks here on the day. And on– and this is on a one-year basis, so I’m going to put this on an intraday basis here, so we can get a good look at things.

United Airlines, you’re seeing that lower by about 2 and 1/2% on the day. It’s important to remember that that’s a company that did just report earnings as well. And they just had their call at 10:30 AM Eastern time, so that’s down 2 and 1/2%, perhaps moving a little bit more on earnings. But you’ve got Delta Airlines number one in the list. That’s up by about 7/10 of a percent.

And then just lastly here, let me pull up Jetblue. That was the worst overall in the list. That’s down by about 9/10 of a percent. But if there’s one thing that customers repeatedly come back to and do comparison on, it’s price, Rachelle. So we’ll see if any of this perhaps moves the dial in one way or another when it comes down to their own booking strategies in the future, too.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And you never forget a bad experience on a flight. So I know that the holiday kerfuffle for Southwest especially, they’re saying that might cost the company about $825 million. So not only did it cost it, like, that top spot in terms of best and worst airlines, also hitting their bottom line as well. I remember every bad experience. I still hold a grudge against Continental Airlines. They lost my luggage when I was a kid. I never forgot it to this day.

BRAD SMITH: Rachelle, I 100% second that. I remember which airline I’ve said the most prayers on, and that has been Spirit Airlines repeatedly in the past.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: You never do forget it. Great stuff there. Brad Smith there for us.

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