Consumer Reports: Virgin America Flies To The Top Of Latest Airline Ratings Spirit Airlines Lands at Bottom of the List with Poor Satisfaction Scores across the Board

YONKERS, N.Y., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Virgin America soared to the top of the latest Consumer Reports ratings of airlines in its debut appearance on the list, receiving some the highest satisfaction scores CR has seen in years.

Consumer Reports' airline ratings are based on a survey of 16,663 subscribers conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Survey respondents flew a combined 31,732 domestic flights and were asked to rate their satisfaction with their respective airlines' check-in ease, cabin-crew service, cabin cleanliness, seating comfort, baggage handling, and in-flight entertainment.

Virgin America, which started in 2007 and has recently, expanded the number of cities it serves to 21, received stellar scores across the board from Consumer Reports readers. And even though it charges $25 each for the first and second checked bags, it was the only airline to get the top score for baggage handling.

"While other airlines on the list like Southwest and JetBlue have done a very good job of satisfying fliers, Virgin America is a cut above in the eyes of our readers," said Amanda Walker, Senior Editor, Consumer Reports.

The full report can be found online today at ConsumerReports.org and in the July 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways were also rated highly, a feat they might owe to the fact that they're the only carriers on the list that let fliers check one (JetBlue) or two (Southwest) bags for free. Both also received high marks for check-in ease and cabin-crew service, but JetBlue scored higher for cabin cleanliness.

Spirit Airlines found itself at the bottom of the ratings, receiving the lowest marks across the board. The no-frills airline has fares that can be as low as 90 percent less than other carriers, but charges a wide array of fees, including $10 to $19 to book a flight, and $35 to $100 per carry-on bag. Readers were also sore about Spirit's seats; it has the tightest seating space in the industry.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.   Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

MAY 2013

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports



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