How North America’s Airlines Stack Up for Safety, Traveler Experience Amid COVID-19

By Patrick Clarke,

Delta Air Lines continues to set the bar for safety, service and convenience among North American airlines in the time of COVID-19, according to the Safe Travel Barometer report for November 2020.

The Atlanta-based carrier, which is limiting capacity to block middle seats on flights through March 2021, earned a Safe Travel Score of 4.2 out of 5 based on the monthly independent audit of more than two dozen initiatives related to traveler convenience, service excellence and health and safety.

November marks the third consecutive time that Delta-which ranks fourth-best globally behind Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways-has topped the regional leaderboard in 2020.

Southwest Airlines, which scored a 4.1 out of 5, is the top-ranked low-cost carrier in North America, edging out Allegiant Air (3.8), Jetblue (3.6) and Canada’s WestJet (3.6). Air Canada was the only other airline in the region to score at least a 4 out of 5 but five airlines scored a 3.9 out of 5, including United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Transat, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

AeroMexico ranked eighth among full-service carriers in North America with a score of 3.3 out of 5, matching Frontier Airlines. The report suggests that some airlines, including Spirit Airlines (3.1) have much work left to do. While the budget-friendly Spirit scored 93 percent in the traveler convenience sub-category it earned just 68 percent for COVID-19 safety protocols, compared to 85 percent for North America-leading Delta.

“Our assessment of airline initiatives validates a strong need of having standardized and unified response by the North American aviation stakeholders, especially in the U.S., to assure passengers of their safety and minimize the risk of transmission. There is a jarring disparity in the way policies-or recommendations-are implemented by American carriers relative to its neighbors across the border,” Safe Travel Barometer Co-Founder and CEO Virendra Jain said in a statement.

Click here to view the updated Safe Travel Barometer Dashboard for Airlines.

Read original story on TravelPulse.