They probably won't change their marketing slogan to "we are not the worst airline", but discount carrier Spirit Airlines has moved out of the basement in the most recent Airline Quality Rating report, according to The Motley Fool.

In 2015, Spirit ranked last by a wide margin when it came to on-time performance, mishandled bags, involuntary denied boardings, and the frequency of official complaints filed by passengers with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

When Spirit, which remains the only commercial airline to offer service from Atlantic City International Airport, introduced Bob Fornaro as its new CEO in 2016, he promised to improve Spirit's customer service.

After a slow start to the year, by May, Spirit began to show improvement in every metric tracked by the Airline Quality Rating study, except for the rate of involuntary denied boardings, which nearly doubled.

Most notably, Spirit's complaint rate fell by almost half from 2015, pushing it past low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines and out of last place. This progress also gives hope for even larger gains for Spirit's ranking in 2017.

Meantime, as other traditional airlines begin to take a similar approach to charging for amenities, Spirit's methods are becoming the new normal.

 

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