2:18 PM

Wisconsin's Midwest
Airlines Again Tops
"the" Zagat List

The Zagat/TODAY Show Airline Survey annually offers to crown the best carrier in domestic airlines, and as the results explain, apparently experienced travelers in this country prefer chocolate chip cookies over stale pretzels:

Zagat surveyed almost 7,500 frequent fliers, who flew an average of 19.7 flights per year. The secret to happy airline passengers: Cookies. Midwest Airlines may lay claim to offering the highest overall quality to travelers among US airlines, according to a Zagat Survey. Midwest -- best known for offering fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies on its mainline flights -- took top honors among economy-class airlines. Those surveyed praised the carrier's "extraordinarily helpful" staff and "excellent value." The Oak Creek, WI-based low-cost carrier also took top honors in other years, most recently in 2005. "Midwest has been running essentially a business-class airline while charging economy class rates," said Tim Zagat, CEO of the survey firm.
And the survey [ download full results as pdf here ] also showed that you can jump into the U.S. market and quickly gain instant validation with your customer base:
The other carrier that received high marks was Virgin America – which has only been flying three months – offers the best overall experience. Curiously, the airline also tied for second-place in the economy category; Virgin America bills itself as a low-cost airline, while offering leather seats and in-flight entertainment systems.
But what I found hilarious was a few of the quotes pulled from the survey results. If you are a Big Airline CEO, the following ought to be a wake-up call (these do not represent any comments aimed at any particular carrier, just random pulls from the story):
"The only thing you can hope for is a short flight"

"If they could have pay toilets, they would"

"Makes standing in line at the DMV seem like fun"

"They fired the last employee found smiling"

"Only thing worse than flying them is the delay to fly them"

"Flight schedules are for customers' amusement"

"Livestock travels under better conditions"

"Don't enter the toilet without a hazmat suit"

"Website is slower than my 100 year-old grandmother"

"The legroom is great if you're a yard gnome"
Ouch...a yard gnome? Now that one hurts.

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