America’s Most Hated Travel Companies

by SharonKurheg

There are some companies out there that are just AWFUL. You know the kind I mean…the very thought of them makes you roll your eyes and sigh a few times. Of course, that’s not healthy. But sometimes though, you feel a little better about the whole thing when someone else agrees with you; a someone who or a something that justifies what you’re feeling about those lousy places that give you nothing but agida (Hey, I’m from NY…look it up LOLOL). Welp, an online site called 24/7 Wall Street recently came out with its list of the top 20 of American’s Most Hated Companies of 2017 and lo and behold (and to no surprise to anybody), a few of them are in the travel industry. Take a look-see…

#19: United Airlines

“The video of a passenger being forcibly removed from his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight went viral last year, sparking outrage across the country and triggering a public relations crisis for the Chicago-based company. United’s handling of the incident only made matters worse as many perceived CEO Oscar Munoz’s apology as half hearted and dismissive.

United’s stock dropped 4% in the days following the incident, wiping as much as $1 billion off the company’s market value. The company has since made considerable efforts to regain investor and customer confidence. Munoz announced measures that include increased monetary incentives to leave an overbooked flight, reduced overbooking, additional employee training, and reduced paperwork for lost luggage reimbursement. Still, the company ranks near the bottom among airlines for customer service. United Airlines scored a 70 out of 100 on the 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Index, well below the average score of 75 among U.S.-based airline companies.”

We’ve reported on our thoughts about United Airlines – how lousy their Basic Economy class is, the conversation Joe had with the grandmother who unknowingly had a Basic Economy ticket on United, and even what we’ve learned about leggings, non-revenue passengers and customer service and frankly, we’ll pass as often as we can.

#14: Uber

“Few companies had a worse year in 2017 than ride sharing app Uber. An essay published by former Uber employee Susan Fowler in mid-February detailed a prevailing culture of sexism and sexual harassment at the company. Less than a month later, a video of then company CEO Travis Kalanick getting into an argument an Uber driver surfaced, prompting him to make a public apology. Uber also faced a number of lawsuits in 2017, including one filed by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, for alleged theft of intellectual property related to self-driving car technology. As a result of the myriad of lawsuits and investigations into sexual harassment, 13 company executives resigned in the first half of 2017 alone, including the June departure of Kalanick.

The company’s trouble’s did not end with Kalanick’s departure. A Wall Street Journal article published in September revealed the company is the subject of an FBI investigation for illegally interfering with rival company Lyft. Later that month, the company lost its license to operate in London due to a lack of corporate responsibility.”

Personally, Joe and I have actually had OK to good experiences with Uber. The one exception was when the Uber driver took a different route and charged us more than he should have, and after we contacted them, that situation was fixed almost immediately. Joe still seems to be more “rah rah Uber” than I am, but that’s moreso because I’m cautious about being a pint-sized person in a car alone with a stranger.

#9: Spirit Airlines

“Because flying can often be stressful, many airlines attempt to make the experience as comfortable as possible for their customers. Spirit Airlines follows a different philosophy, aiming to strip air travel down to its basics by ensuring no frills, inexpensive flights.

This business model, however, is not always appreciated. Spirit has the absolute lowest customer satisfaction score among airlines, according to the ACSI, with a rating of 61 out of 100, compared to the industry average of 75. Additionally, 44.4% of respondents in the customer service poll commissioned with Zogby reported a negative experience with the company. This is the third largest share among all the companies considered.”

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know…Spirit is doing better. I know they partnered with Disney to increase their customer service, and they’re getting better at being on time. But really, when you practically need a road map to find out how much your final ticket price will be because they nickel and dime you for everything, how good can they be? Sure, some people swear by them. But me? Thanks, no thanks and sorry, not sorry.

To see the full list of the top 20 America’s Most Hated Companies as per 24/7 Wall St., click here.

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