The Worst Airline Has the Fewest Complaints

Why does Southwest have such bad performance stats but the fewest complaints? According to the Bureau of Transportation, Southwest ranks last in on-time departures, mishandled baggage, and denied boardings, yes it gets the fewest complaints.

  Airline performance

The data may surprise you considering each airline's reputation. We seem to think of Southwest as a customer service superstar-and it is when it comes to complaints, with the fewest of the bunch.  One theory for this disconnect is that Southwest's interactions compensate for its other disappointing metrics: 


Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you agree with the theory that Southwest gets the fewest complaints because of how employees treat customers? What are other possible theories? 
  • Conversely, look at United's number of complaints. Does that make sense, given that airline's other metrics?