Delta’s Performance on Airfarewatchdog’s Rankings

In September, Airfarewatchdog came out with a ranking of U.S. airlines based several months of data including data from the Transportation Department and the American Consumer Survey Index.  On first reaction, one could read the rankings as bad news for Delta Airlines as they came out tied for sixth overall (with Southwest).  However, it doesn’t take long for a Delta fan to see some really good news here.

First, the five airlines that beat them were Virgin America, JetBlue, AirTran, Alaska, and Frontier.  In other words, if you want to fly a “better” airline, you will be limited to where you can fly, if you can fly anywhere at all.  For instance, the only of these airlines that has any service whatsoever to my hometown, Lexington, KY, is…wait, NONE of them fly to Lexington.  If I were to drive to Louisville, I would have access to Frontier that provides one flight a day to Denver.  That’s it.  One.

Second, Delta finished above every other legacy carrier – US Airways was eight, followed by American in ninth, and United in last place.  In fact, they beat the other legacy carriers in pretty much every category such as on-time arrivals, fewest cancellations, and fewest mishandled bags.

I’ve been flying for over 25 years now and one thing that I have learned is that almost everyone hates the airline they fly most often.  But, I think Delta does a really good job and this data seems to bear it out.

Marriott Introduces “Cash + Points” Awards

Marriott recently joined the ranks of hotel programs that offer award redemptions that combine points and cash.  These options have been offered by Hilton’s HHonors program and Starwood Preferred Guest program and I have found them to often be a great value.

For instance, I previously posted about the values I got in Europe this past summer with Hilton at their Munich City hotel and the London Olympia and with Starwood at their Sheraton property in Salzburg, Austria.

I haven’t had a chance to try out Marriott’s new program but hoping that it will offer similar options and value.