This Airline Study Ranked Southwest No. 1 in 2023

New research shows that Southwest had the fewest customer complaints in 2020, despite a challenging year for U.S. airlines.

The annual Airline Quality Rating survey from Wichita State University found 2.64 complaints per 100,000

customers for the Dallas-based airline. Frontier had the most complaints at 49.3 per 100,000 passengers.

The analysis found that Southwest was the only rated carrier to preserve almost the same score as before the COVID-19 pandemic

Refunds dominated complaints (83%), while on-time performance and mishandled luggage improved compared to 2019.

After topping the list in 2019, Allegiant had the best baggage management with 1.48 

mishandled luggage per 1,000 checked bags. In 2020, the airline had the poorest on-time performance with 71.3%.

Delta Air Lines, which dropped its pandemic-era middle seat restriction, rose to No. 3 from No. 4 in 2019.

In a statement, research co-author Dr. Brent Bowen said "travelers want to fly again. Consumer trust in air travel has returned, 

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