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Airline rankings: United has bigger problems than passenger incident

United Airlines has made news this week after a passenger was dragged off a plane -- quite literally -- igniting a media and public relations firestorm the world hasn't seen in quite some time.

United's stock was hit hard and it lost hundreds of millions of dollars in market capitalization in just one day. What's worse, the passenger is Asian and much of United's international business is centered in Asia. In China, the incident has sparked outrage.

But United has other problems and those show up in ratings. The most recent JD Power ratings of airlines are almost a year old, but United fared poorly coming in dead last in customer satisfaction. Alaska Airlines was first.

Skytrax, another service that evaluates airline service, placed United at No. 68 worldwide. Its biggest domestic rival, Delta, was at No. 35.

United won't go out of business over this incident but it's not helping their efforts to reverse these trends either. When your company becomes synonymous with bad service, canceled flights and other petty policy issues that make headlines, that's a problem that can take years and in some cases decades to overcome.

Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›