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Airlines fare poorly in latest Zagat survey

Airlines around the world scored poorly in new ratings from the Zagat Survey, with major U.S. carriers in particular slammed for poor service and lousy food.
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Zagat said that within the U.S. domestic ranks, the biggest declines were posted by the biggest names: American, Delta, United and US Airways. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP file
/ Source: Reuters

Airlines around the world scored poorly in new ratings from the Zagat Survey, with major U.S. carriers in particular slammed for poor service and lousy food.

Respondents to the Zagat Survey, best known for its ratings of restaurants in major cities, heaped scorn on the sector, many of whose members have dropped basic perks like pretzels and blankets to cut costs.

“Delays, cancellations and waiting” was the top irritant for air travelers, followed by “cramped seating and crowding” and “poor service.” Results of the first Zagat airline survey since 2001 were released Monday.

International carriers that fared the best in the survey were Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific Airways for economy class, and Singapore, Cathay and Virgin Atlantic Airways  for premium service. Overall, however, the ratings of international carriers were lower in this survey than in the previous one.

The overall ratings of U.S. airlines fell at least 30 percent.

Continental Airlines scored the best in the category of premium service and Midwest Air Group Inc. was rated the best among U.S. carriers for economy class.

Cellar-dwellers in the ratings for comfort and service included US Airways Group Inc., its merger partner America West Airlines and now bankrupt carriers Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp.

Among airports, New York’s JFK International was rated the worst in both the domestic and international categories.