We all love bitching about the atrociousness of American, Delta, US Airways and United – but what if I told you there was once an era in air travel where dozens of carriers littered the skies? What if I told you that those carriers were even worse than every single modern day airline? The Street did some digging and came up with the five worst airlines in United States history.
5. Air South
Based out of: Columbia, SC
Why it sucked: Because it was based out of fucking Columbia, South Carolina. They lost $30 million dollars in their first year, $17 million of which was taxpayer money. It’s on-time performance was around 50 percent and less than 80 percent of their flights actually left the airport.
How long it lasted: Three years.
4. Braniff 3
Based out of: Dallas, TX
Why it sucked: It was a fraudulently run company, but also wasn’t even a well run company. They were notorious for overbooking flights, even causing a riot at MacArthur Airport in Islip, NY in April of 1992 due to overbooking a flight by dozens of seats.
How long it lasted: One year.
3. Independence Air
Based out of: Washington-Dulles
Why it sucked: They tried to go head-to-head with former partner, United and offered an absurd 600-flight schedule each day on a fleet of 87 regional jets. They got too big for their britches.
How long it lasted: 18 months.
Based out of: Columbus, Ohio
Why it sucked: The inaugural flight was three and a half hours late. Wouldn’t let you bring food onboard and charged for soda. Bastards.
How long it lasted: 10 months.
Based out of: Atlanta, GA
Why it sucked: They killed 110 people in one of the worst (and most preventable) crashes in US aviation history on May 11, 1996 because two maintenance workers forgot to place safety caps on oxygen generators in the cargo hold of a DC-9 flying from Miami to Atlanta, causing a massive fire which caused the plane to crash into the Florida Everglades. This was a result of ValuJet almost entirely outsourcing their plane maintenance.
How long it lasted: Four years
[via The Street]