Dallas News reporting:
What surprised me was the mismatch between the Consumer Report top score for Virgin America compared with the DOT Complaints but you can prove (or disprove) almost anything with statistics.
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I'm not at all surprised by the rankings-they're pretty much the way I'd do them. Taking a transcontinental flight on Virgin or JetBlue is a lot more comfortable than the same flight on United. I suspect that the unusually high DOT ranking for VX is due to problems with their computer changeover last year, probably the same reason as United's. However, VX's customer service is very good, as is Southwest's and Jetblue's, and that buys a lot of forgiveness, even from me. My one real quibble with the rankings is that I actually think Southwest's seats are more comfortable than most, altho I agree their inflight entertainment is much worse.
You also have to take into consideration letter writing campaigns over (silly and unproven) issues such as the one organized by PETA against an unwritten United policy. Complaint tallies convince the uninformed reader that the complaints refer to *different* complaints as opposed to a series of letter writing.