Surprised: American Airlines Named USA’s Worst Airline

For a while American Airlines’ slogan was “Going for Great.” They got rid of that, which is pretty telling. Trying to be great is no longer a priority.

It’s not a secret, American Airlines has been on the ‘struggle bus’ for minute. Extremely delayed flights are the norm for the airline and they’ve had labor disputes that have resulted in mechanics being arrested for allegedly sabotaging flights.


I hope you were able to read the sarcasm in the title. Unfortunately, for the airline, it’s now been named as the United States’ worst airline, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal just released their 2019 airline scorecards, and American Airlines is at the absolute bottom of the list out of nine airlines for the third time in five years.


As I’ve said previously, I love numbers and how they calculate these stats so let’s take a look.

The WSJ calculates the rankings based, essentially, on things that drive customers crazy (i.e. mishandles bags, involuntary bumps, cancelled flights, on-time performance, number of complaints, etc).

According to WSJ, American Airlines ranked dead last in four of the seven categories including tarmac delays over two hours, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumps off flights and cancelled flights.


If you’re curious, United Airlines didn’t do much better….they placed 8th. Yes, one above American and second to last. Perhaps, they learned from dragging a doctor down the aisle of what not to do??

Delta Airlines took the top spot, which isn’t very surprising given they were found to one of the three most punctual airlines in the world (not just in the United States).

Despite having such a much smaller route map and schedule, Southwest and Alaska tied for second illustrating how these more boutique airlines have gained super fans and loyal customers.

And JetBlue, Spirit and Allegiant all placed in the middle of the pack.


American Airlines did not place higher than 6th in any of the other metrics. OUCH!

As noted by the report, American Airlines was plagued in 2019 by contract disputes which made operational reliability even worse. However, that was 2019. What about the other 3 years where they placed at the bottom??

A few years back, Delta had problems with on-time reliability. They focused on that challenge and it’s paid off. As you can see, American Airlines continues to be terrible at what they do and United just copies what American does, however, they just do it slightly better.

I have always worried about Southwest because they do their own thing and buck the trends of competitors. But they continue to be strong across the board while being unique and that’s to be admired.

If there is anything that I find interesting, it’s that JetBlue was ranked in the middle. Jetblue has A LOT of loyal fans (including me). If they could address some of their reliability issues they could easily be a top tier airline.

What is your favorite airline? Do you agree with the stats?

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