Not-for-profit organization Green America has added an 'Airlines' section to its consumer watchdog website, ResponsibleShopper.org. The site informs concerned consumers about problem corporate practices,...

Not-for-profit organization Green America has added an ‘Airlines’ section to its consumer watchdog website, ResponsibleShopper.org.

The site informs concerned consumers about problem corporate practices, action campaigns and ways to live greener in relation to more than 150 major consumer companies. It now ranks companies in 27 industry categories from best to worst based on research focusing on such key issues as human rights, social justice, environmental sustainability and more. (Green America was known as Co-op America until January 1, 2009.)


Like the site’s other sections, the new ‘Airlines’ section of www.ResponsibleShopper.org seeks to give consumers information about airlines in order to help people decide which companies they would feel the most comfortable giving their business to.

Looking at the performance of eight U.S. and British airlines in the areas of environmental-sustainability, human rights, labor relations, corporate ethics and governance, and health and safety issues, ResponsibleShopper.org ranks Southwest the best airline among U.S. carriers and Virgin Atalntic Airways second-best. United Airlines is in last place.

The airlines received low marks overall for ethics and governance, the site’s editors say. The section ranks all the airlines on one page, where an easy-to-read chart compares their performance under each criterion.

“Airline travel is a big expense for many responsible consumers and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to spend their money with airlines that are making an effort to be better corporate citizens,” says Victoria Kreha, Green America’s Responsible Shopper coordinator.

The site’s new ‘Airlines’ section provides a variety of nuggets about U.S. airlines’ practices, identifying an airline that was fined $7.1 million in August 2008 for violating drug- and alcohol-testing protocols for its pilots and for flying aircraft that were not properly maintained; and naming a carrier that ejected six Muslim clerics from a Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight, subjecting them to handcuffing, detention, and questioning, after a fellow passenger told a flight attendant he was alarmed to have seen them praying before the flight.

ResponsibleShopper.org also identifies an airline accused in 2007 by the AFL-CIO of distributing anti-union literature in an attempt to block 7,650 service employees at Newark Liberty International Airport from forming a union.

The full ‘Airline’ ranking chart (with criteria) is available here.