We all know air travel can be, well, a drag. The cramped seats, the sloppy food and a lack of in-flight entertainment can be all it takes to turn what should’ve been a nice vacation into a nightmare.
That’s why it’s always nice to have a bit of an inside scoop on which airlines have better features than others, so you can save yourself some of the grief.
That’s where Consumer Reports comes in. The magazine just released a survey that indicates which airlines are better than others, based on notes from 20,000 of its subscribers. But this wasn’t a survey of cost, it actually measured the things you will experience after buying your ticket. Such as seat comfort, room for carry-on luggage, overall cleanliness, quality of food, check-in fees, service from airline staff, in-flight entertainment and transparency of fees. And yep, the survey focused on coach and first class seating.
We think that about covers it all, right?
Comfort in coach
We hate to say it, but the misery of coach seating seems to be an industry-wide phenomenon, according to the report. No airline received a top mark on any of the attributes being measured, although there were some that got higher scores than others.
The report found the absolute worst airline to fly coach was Spirit, which performed “significantly worse than every other airline in terms of overall satisfaction.”
Some of the largest airlines south of the border–American, Delta and United Airlines–didn’t exactly soar in the rankings either. They all landed in the middle-to-bottom half of the list, after having earned some of the lowest scores for leg room, seat comfort, food and entertainment.
So which airlines should you pick?
On the flip side, Jet Blue, Southwest and Virgin hold to top three spots respectively. Jet Blue took the No. 1 ranking for having the distinction of comfortable seats (at least, relative to the other carriers). Southwest was carried to second place for its transparency of fees, which offset some of its lower scores in other areas.
Flying in First
It seems Virgin might be your best bet, as it was the top pick for first-class flight (and landed in the top 3 for coach). The airline scored top marks across the board, for its “free hors d’oeuvres” and “hot towels, table linens, and a custom ice cream flavour.”
Hawaiian Airlines also received a favourable score in every category, while Alaska Airlines had similar results, with the exception of in-flight entertainment.
You can find out more about American airlines in the video, above.