Is Delta (DAL) the only competent airline?

January 19, 2024

It’s been a rough start to 2024 for airlines. 

Though airline sentiment is historically “low” compared to the rest of the LikeFolio universe, when the best of breed doesn’t crack 60% positive its worth a look.

What’s going on?

First a plane “door plug” fell off mid-flight, sending sentiment and public trust plummetin:.

Alaska Airlines (ALK) Flight 1282 experienced cabin depressurization due to a detached door plug, leading to an emergency landing and raising concerns about the safety of the Boeing 737-9 MAX model, negatively impacting consumer trust in the airline's safety standards.

Shortly after another plane was forced to make an emergency landing due to a door light sensor (yes, all aboard were triggered):

United Airlines (UAL) Flight 2434, an Airbus A319, made an emergency landing at Tampa International Airport. The emergency was declared due to an open-door light indicator flashing, leading to concerns about a possible door issue. The plane, which was en route from Sarasota to Chicago, landed safely without any injuries reported. 

This incident, coming soon after the discovery of loose bolts in the door plug areas of Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes by United and Alaska Airlines, could further contribute to concerns regarding the maintenance and safety standards of commercial aircraft.

Then yesterday, against all odds, things got even worse.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby faced criticism after a video of him performing in drag at a company event resurfaced. This sparked controversy and raised concerns about the company's focus on incorporating drag into its business and sponsoring drag shows.

(Has UAL learned nothing from BUD?!)

And another airline teetered on the verge of bankruptcy.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) faced a significant setback yesterday when a federal judge blocked its proposed merger with JetBlue, citing concerns over reduced competition. As a result, Spirit's stock took a hit, and the airline is now exploring options to address its financial challenges, including possible bankruptcy.

The cumulative impact on consumer sentiment stemming from these events has been SO bad that traditionally bottom-of-the-pack American Airlines (AAL) is now tied for first place alongside Delta (DAL) at 59% positive. 


Bottom Line

Consumer sentiment is typically LikeFolio’s best indicator for long-term future growth. And right now the airline industry is so shaken by public safety events, a question of competent leadership, and viability concerns that the future bookings of consumers are up for grabs!

Web visits show a clear leader:

It’s really Delta’s (DAL) game to lose. 

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