Stats: The Worst Airlines, Ranked by Negative Twitter Mentions

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Photo by Getty/FARBAI

With 330 million active users, Twitter has become an extensive platform for travelers to share complaints and praise. With this in mind, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip has analyzed over 96,000 tweets over a two-week period – from August 9 – 23 – using a sentiment analysis tool to examine which of the nine largest U.S. airlines receive the most positive and negative mentions. 

Here’s how they stack up:

Airline Percentage of positive mentions Percentage of negative mentions
Spirit Airlines 31% 69%
Frontier Airlines 36% 64%
American Airlines 44% 56%
United Airlines 50.5% 49.5%
JetBlue 50.5% 495%
Delta 51% 49%
Alaska Airlines 62% 38%
Allegiant Air 64% 36%
Southwest Airlines 70% 30%

Spirit Airlines has the highest proportion of poor reviews, with nearly 70 percent of its Twitter mentions containing a negative sentiment. Over a third of negative keywords in Spirit’s mentions were due to delays or cancellations, InsureMyTrip said. 

Frontier Airlines followed closely with 64 percent negative mentions, receiving the highest number of complaints about “customer service” (8.9%) compared to any other airline analyzed.

American Airlines was in the third position with 56 percent of negative tweets overall.

At the other end of the spectrum, Southwest Airlines tops the list with 70 percent of its Twitter mentions considered positive. When analyzing the sentiments, “customer service,” “luggage,” and “food” were the words with the best scores. At the same time, while it performed will overall, Southwest also received the highest number of negative mentions for keywords regarding seating (15.7%), as passengers are not assigned seats. Instead, they’re given a boarding group, indicating where they should line up when they’re at the gate ready to board.

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