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Zagat Airline Survey: The Winners and The Losers

November 21, 2007 at 2:30 PM | by | ()

TPA: Great airport=no lines...

We admittedly have a bit of a Zagat obsession right now, but we can't overlook the latest survey from the folks at the Burgundy Bible. A look at US airlines, it was compiled in conjunction with the Today show and relied on the opinions of 7,498 flyers and travel pros.

We probably don't need to tell you the big-picture findings:

Overall, our survey results reveal continuing frustration with the state of domestic air travel... Delays and cancellations were cited as the top airline irritants, follwed by cramped seats/crowding and poor service.

But there were some high points. Virgin America ranked as a "premium" airline (rather than an "economy" one, despite low fares) and performed miles ahead of other carriers in comfort, service and food. VA topped second-place Continental in all three categories. On the budget side of things, Midwest Airlines was the clear favorite. (Could it be simply because of the free cookies on every flight?)

Airports also got the critical eye, with Tampa and Denver earning the best scores from travelers. Two of New York's much-maligned time vortexes (JFK and LGA) earned spots at the bottom of the list, along with Miami, LAX and Philadelphia.

Related Stories:
· Full Survey Results [Zagat.com]
· Virgin America coverage [Jaunted]
· Midwest Airlines coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Tampa International Airport]

Archived Comments:

Midwest WAS good- no longer sad to say.

They USED to be excellent. I've just returned from attending my father's funeral in NY; my daughter and I flew Midwest (a direct flight from Kansas City to LaGuardia). The baggage agent at MCI took our checked bags, but (as it turned out) mistagged my SOLE bag so it was sent to Ft Myers instead of with us. When we reached LaGuardia, the agent in NY said the bag had been located, took my info, and said it'd be returned the next day. It was not.

The next day, a succession of agents blew off my phone inquiries until that eve I called AGAIN from the wake and got one (Seth) who really was excellent. He checked and reported that the bag had NOT been expedited back to LGA but rather had been expedited for some unfathomable reason to MIAMI! He was not optimisitc that I ever again would SEE the bag, given that Miami is the Black Hole of lost luggage.

On my return to MCI (after attending the funeral in what I wore on the plane-- no time to go shopping!) I again checked with Midwest's baggage people-- no change in status. One of the items in that bag was my backup eyeglasses, barely a year old (new prescription; $450). In looking at Midwest's baggage claim site, I see they specifically EXCLUDE prescription glasses from coverage! By the way, as my daughter and I checked HER bags at LGA, the agent began tagging them not with MCI tags but with MKE ones. I really blew, and they blithered their apologies and retagged the stuff for my daughter and the baby. Had I not noticed, THEIR stuff would have vanished to Milwaukee!

I'm awaiting disposition of this miserable example of lousy service. Not I nor any member of my extended family will ever fly Midwest again, ever. Even if they become the only airline flying. The plane on both flights was half empty, and I can understand why. Yes- they once WERE a fine airline. No longer.

See http://www.epinions.com/content_422329093764