The Worst Airlines Have These Annoying Things in Common

Some airlines are so bad they’re known around the country as the most hated airlines in the United States. Unsurprisingly, these hated airlines have a lot in common. Read on for a closer look at what exactly makes an airline “the worst.”

1. Unreasonable prices

Airplane in the sunset
An airplane flies into the sunset. | tonda/iStock/Getty Images

It’s one thing for elite airlines that offer a luxury (or at least a comfortable) flying experience to charge high prices. But an airline that’s neither luxurious nor comfortable shouldn’t be charging luxury prices. Traveling is expensive enough as it is without subpar airlines charging ridiculous prices for a ticket.

Next: There’s not much worse than losing your luggage on your way to your destination. 

2. Restrictive baggage policies and mishaps

Carry-on luggage in overhead storage compartment
Luggage in the overhead storage compartment |

Some airlines today are getting more and more restrictive with what they allow their passengers to fly with in terms of baggage. SkyWest and Delta both are notorious for their baggage issues. In 2017, the Transportation Department even fined Delta $200,000 for underreporting the number of mishandled baggage complaints they received from customers.

Next: They trick you into thinking you’re buying a cheap ticket …

3. They nickel and dime you over every little thing

people on airplane
Passengers sit on an airplane. | Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images

One of the most notorious airlines guilty of this is Spirit. Spirit is one of the most hated airlines out there and a big part of that is due to the fact that they charge their passengers for every little thing. It costs extra to print your boarding pass, to have a carry-on, and even for a glass of water during the flight. The airline does offer competitively low ticket prices, but by the time you add everything else you’ve been charged for to your total cost, a Spirit ticket isn’t so cheap after all.

Next: The last thing you want to deal with when flying is rude customer service.

4. Rude customer service

Women sitting on an airplane
Passengers sit on an airplane. | iStock/Getty Images

Flying is stressful–passengers want to be on board a flight with kind, helpful, happy airline workers. One airline that’s known for its bad customer service is United. Business Insider reports that the airline has a history of negative customer service run-ins because the airline workers aren’t treated well.

“It’s a top-down culture, meaning, the CEO and other leaders set the atmosphere for the rest of the employees,”Airline expert George Hobica told Business Insider. “The leadership has been pretty abysmal.”

Next: This can cost you a whole day of your trip.  

5. Frequent delays

Air Canada plane
Air Canada airplane | Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images

The last thing you want in the midst of a busy travel day is to experience any major delays. Some airlines, though, just seem to constantly experience this issue. Air Canada is notorious for experiencing delays. According to The Motley Fool, Air Canada is only on-time 76% of the time. “This could imply growing congestion at its serviced routes, signaling that it may need to boost capacity or add more routes to assuage this problem,” surmised the publication.

Next: Why is it so hard to keep things simple?

6. Complicated boarding processes

Travelers boarding an airplane
Travelers board an airplane. | Comstock/iStock/Getty Images

We’re all just trying to board the plane in a timely manner and get to where we’re going. Why, then, do some airlines have to make the boarding process so complicated? Southwest, for example, doesn’t have a very efficient boarding process. Passengers are assigned a boarding group upon checking in, but there are no assigned seats. So when your boarding group is called, you and your party just need to cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Next: You may think you can tough this out, but, chances are, you can’t.  

7. Uncomfortable seating

Seat Rows inside an Airplane
Airplane interior | gabriellephotos/iStock/Getty Images

You may think it’s worth it to sacrifice a comfortable seating arrangement in order to save some money on a plane ticket, but it usually never is. Even a flight that’s only a couple hours can feel cramped and stiff in a seat that’s less than comfortable. Spirit Airlines, again, is known for its horrible seating.

“With an average of only 28 inches of pitch and no recline (they call them ‘pre-reclined’, but they took out the mechanisms so they’d weigh less), you are likely to feel cramped whatever flight you are on, with the seats begin described as ‘very uncomfortable,'” says The Points Guy of Spirit.

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