Best U.S. Airlines: 2013 Edition Unveiled By Airfarewatchdog

Eight weeks remain in 2013-including the busy holiday travel season-but apparently Airfarewatchdog has seen enough. Last week it announced its picks for the best, and worst, U.S. airlines of the year. The top three were Frontier, Virgin America and JetBlue with United ranking last.

For criteria, Airfarewatchdog looked at canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, denied boardings and customer satisfaction. Interestingly, top overall airline Frontier didn’t rank at the top of any individual category.The entire overall results:

  1. Frontier
  2. Virgin America
  3. JetBlue
  4. Alaska
  5. Southwest
  6. Delta
  7. AirTran
  8. US Airways
  9. American
  10. United

Video Of The Day: Safety Dance, Airplane Style

Air travel can be tedious sometimes. Cramped seats, horrible passengers, security checkpoints… the list goes on. Virgin America has taken a step to lighten the mood once you’re on board. Their new pre-flight safety video launched today on YouTube, and features a bit of singing, a bit of dancing, and far more fun than I’ve encountered when discussing seatbelts and oxygen masks in years past.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

A Guide To In-Flight Wi-Fi And Power Outlets

BrentDPayne, Flickr

In-flight internet access is on the up and up. Thanks to a list compiled by Lifehacker, it’s now easy to get a glimpse of just how much progress has been made over the past few years. It looks like AirTran and Virgin America are the best bets for in-flight Wi-Fi, while United Airlines is the worst. According to the company’s website, only 59 of the airline’s 700+ planes have Wi-Fi.

We did a little more digging to find out exactly where airline Wi-Fi stands (prices are for domestic flights), and here’s what we came up with:

*These fleets are serviced by Gogo Inflight Internet. Frequent fliers will want to consider buying a Gogo pass, which can cover all flights in a day or month. Since the majority of airlines use Gogo, one pass could cover multiple legs of a trip — even if different airlines are used.

It is also important to note that even if the airplane you’re flying has Wi-Fi, every seat may not have access to a power outlet. No airline has yet ensured outlets at each seat, but Seat Guru has documented where the power outlets are in each type of aircraft. Additionally, you’ll want to check and make sure you have the right adaptor, or you might find it difficult to get some work done at 10,000 feet.

Man In Legal Wrangle With Airline Over Beverage Service And Unflushed Toilet

An Italian man has launched a lawsuit against Virgin America after a mid-air clash over a drink order and a lavatory visit led to the passenger being detained by police.

Salvatore Francesco Bevivino was travelling from Philadelphia to San Francisco when he pressed the call button so he could order a soda. However, after the flight attendant arrived, she told Bevivino to use his touch screen to place a drink order through the plane’s automated system. The 52-year-old apparently refused to do so and asked again for a drink to be brought to him.

The flight staff obliged, but upon landing in San Francisco Bevivino found himself being carted away by police. The airline said it alerted authorities because the passenger was cursing and refusing to follow instructions from the crew. They also claimed Bevivino left a bathroom stall without flushing the toilet.

The passenger denies using profanities or doing anything wrong (his lawyer referred to the unflushed toilet as a “non-event”) and says he feels humiliated by the incident. He’s suing Virgin America for $500,000 in damages.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Daquella manera]

Richard Branson Makes Airplane Hookups Easier By Letting Travelers Send Each Other Drinks

If you travel when you’re single, the following scenario may sound familiar: You get a friend to drop you off at the airport early, you make it through security and grab a coffee or a pre-trip beer, you wander to your gate and board, scoping out the people around you. You sit down in your seat – damn, how did you get stuck sitting in the middle row again? – and you secretly cross your fingers hoping for someone attractive to sit next to you instead of that overweight man/woman with overgrown nose hairs making their way down the aisle.

Attractive person saunters by. If only you had been in row 30A instead of 28C.

But thanks to Richard Branson, there’s help.

Virgin America is now offering Seat-to-Seat Delivery, making it easy to flirt with that hottie (scare them?) a few rows back by sending them drinks, snacks and even meals. Nothing better than hitting on fellow travelers. Who better to explain how it works than Branson – king of international affairs – himself?

The best part about it? Given the fact that airplane food has become so expensive, your potential mile high club partner probably won’t turn the free drink/food down.

No jokes about salty nuts please.