Flyers Name Their Favourite Airlines

virgin america

Virgin America is emerging as a clear favorite within the airline industry,  adding another accolade to its belt this year after travelers put the carrier at  the top of the heap. After topping the 2012  Airline Quality Rating report released last month, more than 16,000 readers of  US-based publication Consumer Reports likewise gave the carrier top marks for,  among other things, its comfy leather seating and in-flight entertainment  system.

Some of the more innovative features out of the airline’s entertainment  system Red, for example, include a chat service that allows passengers to strike  up a virtual conversation with other flyers using the touch screen on their  chairback.

Last month, the airline debuted what Richard Branson described as  an in-flight flirting service where passengers can now order  drinks for their onboard crush using the same system.

Meanwhile, other airlines that got top nods from consumers of the publication  include Southwest, which was lauded for its onboard service.

JetBlue also came out ahead for its in-flight entertainment, cabin  cleanliness and comfort: seats come with a couple extra inches of legroom  compared with other airlines.

At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, no-frills carrier Spirit  Airlines won the dubious title of receiving one of the lowest overall scores for  any company the magazine has ever rated, said Consumer Reports, mainly for  tacking on a slew of extra fees such as a $10-$19 booking charge and up to $100  per carry-on bag.

In the Airline Quality Rating, based on figures from the US Department of  Transportation, Virgin America posted the strongest performance in baggage  handling, at a mishandling rate of 0.87 per 1,000 passengers.

By comparison, American Eagle posted a mishandling rate of 5.8 per 1,000  passengers.

The full report is available in the July issue of Consumer Reports  magazine.

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