Traveling is something that can keep people up for nights, wondering which is the best airline to book with and once they do, anxiously anticipating their departure and hoping everything will go according to plan.
Fortunately, there are plenty of airlines that guarantee its passengers will arrive at their destination in a safe, cost-effective, and enjoyable manner. From affordable airfare, easy to book hotels, and delicious meals along with quality entertainment, these airlines make it their top priority to provide customers will excellent service.
Then there's the opposite side to this spectrum; the airlines that despite their propaganda of low-priced tickets and top-notch customer service still manage to underdeliver in disheartening ways. These are the airlines that lose or damage luggage without minimal attempt to compensate travelers, sneak in extra charges for things like carry-on luggage and flight re-bookings, pay little attention to the comfortability and entertainment value within its flights, and make their passengers feel unappreciated throughout every second of their flying experience. As a result, these airlines are heavily criticized on traveling websites with reviewers detailing their ordeals as warnings to potential travelers.
Curious to know which ones these are? Here are 25 Airlines That Travelers Should Avoid At All Costs.
25 JETBLUE - bad customer service
Despite its fancy interior, state of the art seating, and quality entertainment, Jetblue’s reputation leaves much to be desired.
Much of its negative reviews stem from customers who’ve been treated rudely by flight attendants, who've missed flights without little help from technical service team in rescheduling, delayed arrival times, problems with hotel bookings and a consistent trend of bad customer service.
But, at least their ticket prices are reasonable starting in the $700's range, which is a good $500 more affordable than other airlines.
24 SOUTHWEST - accident prone
Pictures speak louder than words as the above image demonstrates the remains of an engine that tore apart mid-air as a Southwest airplane made its route (Tribune).
Though the pilot's quick-thinking saved most of the passengers lives when he made an emergency landing in Philadelphia International Airport, one can only wonder how thorough Southwest is with its engine inspections.
Some of its less serious problems range from delayed flights, outrageous fees to rebook flights and a poor communication between the airline and its customers.
23 JET AIRWAYS - bad customer service
While a lot of airline land themselves on the bad list of travelers due to bad customer service, uncomfortable seating, lack of entertainment onboard, and miscellaneous charges, Jet Airways recent controversy falls into a more serious category: safety.
In September of 2018, a plane departing from Mumbai airport had to make a quick return after one of the crew members forgot to turn on the switch to maintain cabin pressure (uk.whattheflight).
Fortunately, none of the passengers sustained severe injuries, but much is left to be desired for this airline when safety precautions are concerned.
22 UNITED - mega delays
The list of cons for United is contradictory, with some reviewers criticizing it in areas that other customers have praised.
Some of its criticism stems from delayed flights (sometimes as long as three hours at a time), cramped seating on long flights, and families being separated when boarding due to the airline's poor planning (skytrax.com).
Conversely, United's redeeming points include its quality entertainment, good customer service, decent meal options, and affordable ticket pricing starting at as low as $600 for popular roundtrip flights such as New York to London.
21 ALLEGIANT - poor reviews
From scathing customer reviews on poor service, steep prices, and an overall unpleasant experience, Allegiant has a long-standing bad reputation amongst travelers.
Its prominent complaints are inflexibility in rebooking flights, lost luggage, poor food quality, and its refusal in providing refunds to customers who cancel due to family emergencies and other unforeseen life events; there's a reason why this airline has negative after negative reviews on travel websites such as skytrax.com, consumeraffairs.com, and tripadvisor.com. In short--steer clear of Allegiant at all costs.
20 DELTA ONE - lost baggage
Another airline on the 'no-no' list for most travelers, Delta has a reputation for bad customer service that precedes it.
Most of its negative reception comes from customers dissatisfied with its customer service team, flight and hotel rebookings handled poorly, delayed flights, and plane landings far past their scheduled arrival times.
Other complaints include customers sat in the wrong seats, lost baggage, and in some instances, unexpected charges on customer's credit cards. In summation, Delta is a not a cost-effective choice time wise nor monetarily.
19 SPIRIT - no carry-ons
Spirit is a 'no frills' airline in every sense of the word: they promote what they're offering upfront and what they're not; hence, the affordable ticket pricing compared to other reputable airlines.
This airline is the perfect example of "You Get What You Pay For".
Amongst its major setbacks are questionable customer service, a surcharge for any carry on luggage larger than a handbag, and zero entertainment whatsoever, which includes a lack of wifi, TV, or access to electricity. The upside? It is indeed one of the more affordable airlines with roundtrip tickets starting in the $300's range for popular trips such as Los Angeles to New York City.
18 THAI LION - rip-off
Thai Lion's list of negative reviews all include its reputation lost and sometimes damaged luggage, late departures, carry-on charges for baggage that according to previous users can equal four times the amount of airfare, cramped seating, a flawed booking system which includes a policy only accepting domestic credit cards.
A reviewer on tripadvisor describes it as an airline known for implementing "Criminal Overcharges", and "Using every trick in the book to rip off customers".
It seems that what Thai Lion doesn't collect in airfare they compensate for in miscellaneous charges.
17 HAWAIIAN - additional fees
While some praise Hawaiian Airlines for its great customer service and leg room while others have their own take on flying with it.
The biggest complaint relates to pricing, which is steeper than other airlines traveling to popular Hawaiian destinations with standard tickets starting in the mid-$500 to $600's range.
Also, the previously noted legroom isn't free with the service starting a $300 and it's probably best to bring snacks when flying with Hawaiian as their food isn't exactly raved about by previous customers.
16 WOW AIR - get what is paid for
Wow Air is known to quite literally 'wow' potential users due to its relatively low airfares, starting in the mid $100's range from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, Paris, and other popular European destinations.
Unfortunately, low airfare is where 'wow' comes to end for this airline.
Amongst its complaints is terrible customer service, uncaring flight attendants, a laborious process simply to purchase tickets, flights being changed or canceled last minute without customers being notified, and a general lack of communication between it and its customers.
15 FRONTIER - last minute cancellations
Frontier's main selling point is its affordable plane tickets, starting at $99 for domestic flights. That aside, it seems there's not much more of an advantage of flying with this airline due to its general dismissiveness to customer satisfaction.
Amongst its many, many complaints are bad customer service, additional charges for any sort of amenity onboard aside from water, cramped seating areas, last-minute flight cancellation, and its pilots showing up late for work (airlinequality.com). But at least Frontier counts with a reputation of smooth landings.
14 IBERIA - some tickets not accepted
With a rating of 6/10 on reviewer websites such as Skytrax.com, one can only imagine what's in store when flying with Iberia.
Its list of negative feedback range from e-tickets not being accepted, subpar customer service onboard, lost luggage, unpleasant ground service, and abysmal communication regarding delayed departures and just about every area of flying; in some instances, customers have waited hours just to board their plane from their terminal.
To Iberia's credit, customers praise its comfortable seating which includes vast leg space.
13 EASYJET - delays, but good value
This is also a 'no frills' airline which provides very little for customers aside from a cheap fare. Complaints range from cramped seating, additional fees for small carry on items and other similar objects, customers seats being reassigned as they're about to board their flight, and delayed departures for unexplainable reasons (mrcheapflights).
To reiterate, it does offer affordable rates starting at $14 for domestic flights within Eastern Europe. Past customers also praise its customer service, with flight attendants and special assistance team being polite and efficient in their job duties.
12 CZECH AIRLINES - 17th worst airline
This specific airline ranks as the 17th worst airline in the world (that's right, the worst in the entire planet!). Its list of offenses includes lost luggage, strict guidelines for the baggage that is allowed onboard, an incapable staff that often exhibits a rude demeanor and dismisses passengers, cramped seating, late departures, hard to access restrooms, and just about every negative aspect of flying.
But at least Asiana Airlines offers an affordable and reliable wifi-connection for passengers to check out of their unpleasant experience.
11 AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS - canceling last minute
This airline isn't a complete disaster as far as flying goes. It has decent reviews on its service (specifically its flight attendants) and its moderately priced tickets, but its setbacks are quantifiable (tripadvisor).
From trips being canceled last minute (the night before scheduled departure), constant delays when waiting to board flights, high charges for carrying on luggage, poor wifi connection and lacking entertainment on board (TV access, movie selections, and so forth), prospective travelers are best off considering alternative airlines when scheduling a trip to South America.
10 THAI AIRWAYS - worn down interior
This airline is also a two-way street, with affordable ticket prices and state of the art seating being its redeeming qualities.
Now, for its pitfalls; worn down interior, its late departure times, a customer service team that ranges from decent to uncaring, poorly stocked meal options that give passengers with little to choose from, and accounts of lost luggage--just to name a few (tripadvisor).
Also, its entertainment value is the complete opposite of its technological advanced seats, with low-resolution tv screens being the only form of entertainment for customers.
While this Irish airline has passable reviews on its ground service and landing efficacy, its other areas of services are far from great.
Most of its criticism comes from its customer service, its faulty claim processing department, hidden charges for carry-on luggage and other things that travelers wouldn't normally expect to get charged for, difficulty in boarding with an online ticket, rocky take-offs and landings, and a long, long process when trying to get refunds for flights gone wrong, Ryanair is a time-consuming flying ordeal in every sense of the word.
8 ROYAL JORDANIAN AIRLINES - zero entertainment
This airline ranks relatively low on several levels of the flying experience. Its Economy Class counts with complaints in the claims processing department, customer service, (specifically unfriendly flight attendants) late departures, poor communication with the technical service team, mediocre meals, and limited entertainment including a minimal movie selection and no wifi connection; those who choose to fly with Jordanian Airlines should bring a book and some snacks to keep hold them over during their trip.
For what it's worth, past travelers compliment the cleanliness of the planes.
7 AIR MAURITIUS - very old technology
This airline has an extensive list of bad user reviewers that not even its low pricing can compensate for. For starters, the food is rated from very bad in quality and sometimes consists of leftovers from a previous day of flying, the seating is cramped and offers very little legroom, and its entertainment offers old TV screens that make it impossible to enjoy any of the available films on board.
Worse yet, flights are constantly delayed for hours without customers receiving a justifiable reason nor update as to when they'll finally depart.
6 ASIANA AIRLINES - food is blah
This airline has some positive reviews based on its affordable price and its customer service, which complements the technical service team and flight attendants for always being efficient and friendly.
Conversely, there seems to be a unanimous vote amongst past Asiana passengers that the food is...less than average (tripadvisor).
From tasteless meals to a shortage of them for all passengers onboard, any food this airline offers seems to leave a sour aftertaste. To its credit, it stands out from the masses by offering Korean inspired dishes such a Bibimbap.
5 VUELING AIRLINES - faulty customer service
This Spanish-based airline has an extensive list of reviews that make any potential passenger think more than once before booking their flight through it.
Amongst its areas of criticism are lost luggage, a faulty customer service team which includes delayed departures, last minute cancellations, an uncaring service staff, and no justification from the pilots as to why things aren't going according to schedule and consistent bad reputation for...bad customer service (tripadvisor).
However, Vueling does have some positive feedback for its claims processing department and its affordable tickets.
4 AIR INDIA - rude attendants
Aside from the points passengers accumulate with Star Airline for riding with this airline, Air India holds little to zero credibility with its previous users.
Its major complaints include lost luggage, dirty restrooms, late departures and arrivals, malfunctioning TV screens, planes in need of remodeling, unexpected flight changes, mediocre food, and rude flight attendants;
Air India fails on almost every level of good customer service and hospitality. For what it's worth, its planes offer plenty of legroom for passengers regardless of the class they're flying through.
3 TAP AIR PORTUGAL - quite the ordeal
From the moment passengers arrive at their terminal to the moment they exit the plane, riding with Tap Air Portugal is quite the ordeal (moretimetotravel).
Previous user complaints include travelers arriving at their gate to find no check-in counters, delayed flights, luggage carry-ons costing over $100 per piece, staff members that make no effort to help passengers with their needs, and disorganization all-around; this airline is definitely worth avoiding at all costs.
Conversely, former passengers have commented that its meals are quite tasty and that its movie selection is current.
2 AVIANCA - long departure delays
When previous passengers title their reviews "Customer Service Zero" and "Worst Airline in South America," it means something.
Avianca's extensive flaws includes its bad customer service, long departure delays (according to tripadvisor, sometimes as long as six hours).
Additional charges of up to $500 for travelers seeking to change their flights to direct routes oppose to endless waiting, missed flights due to the pilot's poor communication with connecting flights, and a lackluster technical service team, Avianca misses every single point required for even a half-decent plane ride.
1 BULGARIA AIR - little to no effort
This airline's complaints range from last-minute flight cancellations with no explanations to travelers, a technical service team that exerts little effort into fixing these types of problems, scheduling conflicts, delayed departures, slow boarding process, cramped seating and uncleanliness onboard, attendants who neglect passenger needs, and on a less severe note, low-quality coffee.
However, Bulgaria Air does have decent user reviews for its meal service, so at least prospective travelers can look forward to a delicious dinner if they take the risk with it.
References: skytrax.com; airlinequality.com; tripadvisor.com; mrcheapflights.com