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Delta Air Lines lands top spot for Coronavirus response

Alaska Airlines takes second; Spirit Airlines last.

NEW YORK – Delta Air Lines lands top spot for best responding to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study conducted by The Points Guy. Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines received the lowest ranking of the 10 major carriers. 

The travel experts at The Points Guy ranked the airlines based on which are taking the most-aggressive policies to protect flyers and frequent flyer programs and which airlines have the most-generous cancellation and refund policies.

The five objective categories to determine the final rankings (each worth 20% of the final ranking), include ticketing (how airlines handled changes, cancellations and refunds), cleaning (what steps airlines take to ensure cleanliness), on the ground (how airlines adjusted their ground experience like boarding and check-in procedures), onboard (how they changed their in-flight experience including capacity controls) and loyalty (extended benefits and changes to loyalty programs).

The full rankings, include:

  • Delta Air Lines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • American Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines

“As Americans debate when they will return to the skies and the travel industry deals with its worst crisis in a generation, we decided to take a different path with our annual best airlines study,” says Scott Mayerowitz, Executive Editorial Director for The Points Guy. “We decided it was necessary to provide a comprehensive comparison on how airlines are operating during a global pandemic, weighing everything from ticketing and refund policies to cleaning and social distancing procedures.”

Delta Air Lines ascends to number one for impressive cleaning procedures, including electrostatic spraying with disinfectant of all jets before all flights as well as deep cleanings of gate areas and jet bridges. Delta was the first carrier to begin boarding back-to-front and is also restricting passenger capacity through September 30 (50% in first class, 60% in economy). Other high marks include ticket flexibility and extending loyalty status into 2021.

Alaska Airlines follows shortly behind with complimentary masks, implementing policies on limiting capacity onboard and extending elite statuses.

Low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier rank poorly due to additional charges for masks, vague cleaning procedures and no efforts to limit flight capacity or protect frequent flyers.

“Air travel dramatically changed overnight,” adds Mayerowitz. “All the airlines are making changes as we try to stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of the changes are meaningful while others appear to be nothing more than public relations optics. Our report helps guide flyers through the new world of flying and enables them to make better travel decisions.

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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