Airport Travel Technology Travel Trends

Is JetBlue Actually the ‘Worst’ Airline?

What’s the worst airline out there? The Wall Street Journal’s Airline Scorecard just made a surprising claim, ranking JetBlue as the country’s worst airline while Delta ranked first.

The Journal’s ranking was based on seven statistical measures: On-time arrivals, canceled flights, extreme delays, two-hour tarmac delays, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping, and number of DOT complaints.

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[st_content_ad]These are essentially the same inputs used by the annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR) prepared by researchers at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, but the results might be shocking to the many who swear by JetBlue. Our sister site and other air rankings, on the other hand, have long dubbed JetBlue the best hard product among domestic lines, largely based on legroom.

JetBlue’s minimum legroom, at 32-34 inches in coach, beats most of its competition, as does legroom in the economy-stretched Even More Room seats, at 37 or more inches. Seat width aboard JetBlue’s fleet of A-320 family jets beats that of competitors that use 737 family jets. In the front cabins of some longer routes, JetBlue’s Mint service gets mostly favorable reviews as well.

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So, when you’re choosing a flight, which means more to you—a slightly greater chance of a delay or mishap, or a measurably better seat? Comment below.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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