At Least Lindbergh Had Leg Room Study Break

Gay Lynn HillStudy Break

Ninety-one years ago on May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh, a 25-year-old aviator, took off at 7:52 a.m. from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, in the Spirit of St. Louis attempting to win a $25,000 prize for the first solo nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. Thirty-three hours later, after a 3,600 mile journey, he landed at Le Bourget, Paris, earning the nickname “Lucky Lindy” and becoming an instant worldwide hero.

There have been many improvements since Lindbergh’s flight, but air travel complaints are at an all-time high (perhaps you think Lindbergh had it easy because at least he had leg room!). Incidents like the one that happened on Southwest Airlines are fortunately extremely rare, but, thanks to technology, we can instantly learn about passenger mistreatment and bad behavior.

The United States Department of Transportation publishes a monthly Air Travel Consumer Report that compiles data about flight delays, mishandled luggage, oversales, consumer complaints, customer service reports to Dept. of Homeland Security and animal incidents. Alaska Airlines currently has the best on time performance, while JetBlue has the worst.

For a global perspective, Airline Ratings delivers safety ratings for over 435 airlines from around the world, provides information for over 30 different types of aircrafts, and even reassuring tips for those who have a fear of flying. That doesn’t keep other groups and individuals from sharing their ranked lists.

Even the best airlines like Alaska, Qantas, and, Emirates can have bad days, but which carriers are consistently terrible? A recent survey listed seven airlines that experts have “named and shamed”, including North Korea’s Air Koryo, commonly known as the worst airline in the world (it does have its defenders). The criteria includes audits from aviation’s governing bodies, government audits, fleet age, and crashes and serious incidents.

If you feel an airline has done you wrong, check out these tips from Consumer Reports, contact the airline, and file a complaint. You are #1 in line to share your (PG rated) stories on our Facebook page.