Market Overview

The Best (And Worst) Airliners Of The Summer

The Best And Worst Airliners Of The Summer

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver recently ranked The Best And Worst Airlines, Airports And Flights for the summer of 2015.

Based on government data covering most domestic flights from May 2014 through April 2015, Silver takes a bird’s eye look at the performance of airlines and airports in the past year.

“Keep in mind that these are relative figures, measuring how much time the airlines cost or save you relative to others flying the same routes,” Silver warned.

Here are the winners and losers.

The Best

No. 1. Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ: VA) maintains its front-runner spot, saving users roughly seven minutes per flight segment. Although this figure might seem insignificant, one would save approximately half an hour on a round-trip with a connection, the outlet reported.

No. 2. Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK), “along with Delta, has been the most consistent performer in the industry,” saving travelers at least four minutes per segment in every month tracked by FiveThirtyEight. “And it’s becoming an option for more travelers by adding capacity, with 10 percent more flights in April 2015 than a year earlier, according to the government’s data,” Silver added.

Related Link: Barron's Recap: Airline Stocks Ready To Soar

No. 3. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is the most reliable among mega-sized carriers. The airline saves flier about four minutes per segment in relation to the industry average, and nine minutes per segment when compared to the slowest carrier, United. Furthermore, the article highlights the consistency in this difference: Delta outpaces United on 80 of the 89 routes that they both cover frequently.     

The Worst

No. 9. Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ: SAVE) is slightly slower than the average carrier, costing fliers two extra minutes per segment. Similar to Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) (ranked #7) and privately held Frontier Airlines, Spirit’s performance varies from airport to airport. “It’s slow out of Los Angeles, Denver and Minneapolis, for instance. But it’s faster than most of its competitors on flights from LaGuardia and Dallas, if you’re willing to tolerate the add-on fees,” the article stated.

No. 10. American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) has a lot on its plate, as it completes its merger with US Airways Group Inc (NYSE: LCC) and turns over much of its fleet. In the meantime, customers are not happy: flying American has cost them an average of seven minutes per segment.

No. 11. United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) ranks last. Despite a marginal improvement in 2015 compared to 2014, the airline cost travelers three minutes per segment this year, versus six minutes in 2015.


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