Do happy, well-paid airline employees result in easier holiday travel? It certainly can't hurt. PayScale analyzed data from leading airlines to find out who has the highest-paid, least-stressed, happiest employees, just in time for the holiday travel season.
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Overall Rank: The final ranking of airlines, from first through seventh, is based on the Overall Rank Score.
Overall Rank Score: The sum of the Individual Category Rankings for each airline. A lower score is better, with the best possible score being 6 (corresponding to being ranked first in every category).
Airline Employer Pay Compared to Market Rate: The controlled difference in pay across all employees for a given employer compared to other similar employers. For example, Alaska Airlines' value of 10% indicates that, on average, they pay their employees 10% more than is typical of other similar employers, after controlling for all other compensable factors.
Percent of Stressed Employees: The percent of employees that indicated they were either "extremely stressed" or "fairly stressed."
Percent of Satisfied Employees: The percent of employees that indicated they were either "extremely satisfied" or "fairly satisfied" with their job.
Baggage Fees: The price for the first checked bag that each airline charges, per airfarewatchdog.com.
Customer Complaints per 100,000 Passengers: The number of official complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation per 100,000 passengers on each airline. The data was compiled in an annual airline quality report, found here airlinequalityrating.com
On-Time Arrivals: The percentage of flights for each carrier that arrive before, or at, their scheduled time. Data for on-time arrivals is found in the same report as Customer Complaints per 100,000 Passengers.
Individual Category Rankings: For each of the six categories listed above, the airlines were ranked 1-7, with the best airline in each category being ranked first. For example, the airline with the highest pay is ranked first, while the airline with the lowest employee stress is ranked first.