As each trip to the Caribbean approaches it seems that every little story about "flying" just JUMPS out at me... I saw this story on "The Meanest Airline", and at least it didn't scare the crap out of me, but it did stress me a little bit.

Trying to name America's meanest airline is like trying to name America's chubbiest state... just because you have to pick ONE doesn't mean they're not all legitimate contenders.

But "U.S. News & World Report" was determined to name just one airline as the MEANEST in America.  So they used a formula based on late flights, denied boardings, mishandled baggage, and total customer complaints to figure it out.

And their "winner" for America's meanest airline is... United.  They mostly landed there because of an extremely high complaint rate and their high baggage fees.

American Airlines was named second meanest of the major carriers... then Frontier, Continental, and Delta.

For regional carriers, American Eagle was named the meanest.

Check out a few of the other awards:  Delta was the most complained about airline... JetBlue was named most likely to be unsafe... and Delta, U.S. Airways, and Continental tied for most likely to overcharge for bags.

American Eagle is most likely to bump you off a flight... Comair is most likely to be late... and American Eagle is most likely to mishandle your bag.

NO AIRLINE performed great on the study... they all got negative scores... but the five that were the NICEST of the bunch are AirTran, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Alaska, and Southwest.

(By the Way...Airlines are going to try to raise fees again.  Or, as Southwest calls it... "Adding a sunroof tax.")