Zagat's Top Airline Picks

Zagat’s has gotten into the airline rating business. Here’s the best of the tin pushers stack up, with a highest possible score of 30.

U.S. Airlines: Economy Class
23 Midwest Airlines
19 Virgin America
19 JetBlue Airways
16 Frontier Airlines
15 Hawaiian Airlines

U.S. Airlines: Premium Class
24 Virgin America
20 Continental Airlines
19 Hawaiian Airlines
18 Alaska Airlines
16 AirTran Airways

Hmm, those aren’t very good. Interesting that regional and limited route airlines dominate the frontrunners. Guess the big boys just suck these days.

Zagat Airline Survey


Edit Your Comment

  1. crnk says:

    ….except that YX isn’t really much of a standard economy. Its nearly first class seats and just doesn’t have the food (but they have amazing choices for purchase). They do provide fresh cookies though, and I’ve got to say those are certified yummy!
    Anyway, they used to run the service as something on par with everyone else’s first class-champagne, steak, and lobster were all standard choices.

  2. jkaufman101 says:

    I don’t get this story. Is 30 good? Is 1 good? Damn, Ben.

  3. BigNutty says:

    I think they should have rated the food also, I mean that’s there main business isn’t it?

  4. hhole says:

    Singapore Air international flights scored a 28. I’m thinking 30 is on the high scale. Hell, even coach on Singapore Air scored a 23 which was better than almost every domestic carrier including their first class seating.

    Singapore Air…serious yummy goodness.

    The best thing about the report is the outtakes from the survey…”Livestock travels under better conditions”.

  5. Not sure what Zagat is trying to tell us…that the customer service on most airlines suck?

    Does that come as a surprise to anyone?

  6. Murph1908 says:

    Do these airlines get to pay for plaques in which the price is directly proportional to the rating, like the restaurants do?

  7. fauxfatale says:

    Since when are AirTran or Alaska “premium class”?

  8. Mattazuma says:

    FYI – A “perfect” Zagat rating would be a 30.

    How can Virgin America be on this list? They’ve been in business for 6 months and only fly out of SFO.

  9. mantari says:

    Apparently, ‘Americans Airlines’ didn’t qualify for ANY of these categories?!

  10. smhca says:

    So does this mean the Zagat people will start hustling for free airline tickets, the same way they hustle for free meals?

  11. Kos says:

    I’d like to term Zagat’s last foray as “Ratings Creep.” Next thing you know there will be a Michelin guide for airlines, U.S. News and World Report rankings for airlines, a Time Out version, etc. Companies you stick with what they’re good at.

  12. humphrmi says:

    @Mattazuma: Agreed, niche airlines that fly limited routes should be down-graded. It’s easy to be better than anyone else at one or two routes, it’s much harder to be better than anyone else across a complete network (like Continental).

    @mantari: That shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone who’s flown AA recently.

  13. Kaisum says:

    Air Tran is great if you don’t mind them losing your luggage. My girlfriend flew from New York to Mississippi, they lost her luggage. I flew from Mississippi to New York. They lost my luggage.

    The price is right for broke asses like myself though. Just carry your baggage if you can and you might not have a problem out of them. Although I’m pretty sure their flights are always at least a little late.

  14. mrmcd says:

    Midwest is by far the best domestic airline I’ve ever flown on. The fact that the schedule and cost only really work out if you’re flying to Kansas City or Milwaukee I consider to be the universe’s cruel sense of humor.

  15. czarandy says:

    This is fairly useless. It’s not like you can choose to use most of these airlines. And many routes only have 1-2 airlines that fly them. So you are stuck with whatever is available.

    Not to mention that airline passengers are probably much more conscious of price than any other factor.

  16. Trae says:

    The best part of living in Milwaukee is that I can usually fly Midwest.

    …mmm… chocolate chip cookies…

  17. loganmo says:

    Where is Southwest on this list??