The Most Hated Travel Companies in the US (2023)

by SharonKurheg

Going as far back as at least 2011, 24/7 Wall Street, a financial news and commentary site, has released an annual list of the most hated companies in America. Your Mileage May Vary was established in February 2017 (6-1/2 YEARS AGO?!?!?!), and by 2018 we were culling the travel companies that invariably showed up in each list. From United to American to Spirit, and from Motel 6 to Uber to SeaWorld (and Boeing thrown in one year, just for good measure), the companies Americans loved to hate showed up, sometimes year after year.

(Brownie points for me to find a different picture of an angry picture from the public domain every year. Although I think the woman in 2018 and 2019 was the same. What do you think?)

I’ve been checking 24/7 Wall Street on a pretty consistent basis and never saw their 2023 edition. And then it finally popped up. Except this year they’re not doing their own study; they’re commenting on “The 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings.”

Once a year, American market research and analytics company, The Harris Poll, issues the most highly regarded measure of corporate reputation. The list of the “Top 100” has been posted since 1995 and, of course, by the time you get to the bottom quarter of the list, you’re talking about companies that are rated Poor, Very Poor or Critical.

“During the study, Americans are asked which two – in their opinion – stand out as having the best reputation and which two have the worst reputation in America today. All nominations – best and worst – are compiled into an aggregate list to
determine the “Most Visible” companies. Subsidiaries and brands are tallied within the parent company to create a total number of nominations for each company.”

The characteristics  are asked to use 7 qualities as the framework for their decisions:

  • Citizenship – “Shares my values, supports good causes)
  • Ethics – “Maintains high ethical standards”
  • Culture – “Good company to work for”
  • Trust – “Is a company I trust”
  • Vision – “Clear vision for the future”
  • Growth – “Strong prospects for growth”
  • Products & Services – “Develops innovative products and services, Offers high quality products and services)

Here’s how the considered scoring, on a 0-100″

  • Those with a Reputation Quotient (RQ) of 80 & above are considered Excellent
  • 75-79 = Very Good
  • 70 – 74 = Good
  • 65-69 = Fair
  • 55-64 = Poor
  • 50-54 = Very Poor
  • Below 50 = Critical (only 1 company was in this categoy; The Trump Organization

These are the travel-related companies on the list (Harris has recently partnered with Axios. This year’s list is The Axios Harris Poll 100 Rankings):

58. Delta Air Lines

Delta’s score, considered “Good” (and juuuuust shy “Very Good”) was 74.9, which is 2.4% more than last year’s 73.1

70. United Airlines

United was frequently found on 24/7 Wallstreet’s annual list. With a score of 72.3 (“Good”), this is the airline’s introduction to the Axios Harris Poll.

71. Southwest Airlines

Southwest had also never been listed on the Axios Harris Poll prior to this year. Their score was 71.9 (“Good”). The poll was taken some months after Southwest’s meltdown of Christmas season 2022.

75. Uber Technologies

Always listed on 24/7 Wallstreet’s “Most Hated” list, Uber went up on the Axios Harris Poll. This year it had a score of 71.5, putting it in the “Good” category. In 2022, its score was 67.3, which made them only “Fair.”

95. Spirit Airlines

Is anyone surprised that Spirit Airlines came in 94th out of 100? With a score of 60.1 (“Poor”), it’s even worse than last year’s score of 63.3 (also “Poor”)

A PDF with more analysis of the rankings can be found here.

Featured image: Pexels

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Bob July 18, 2023 - 10:38 pm

I guess my one round trip on Spirit doesn’t count for much but I found they met every reasonable expectation.

Help with check-in and a short line, on time departure both ways, on time arrival, decent baggage handling.

It’s a bus with wings. What exactly is anybody looking for?


Leave a Comment