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Last Updated On: 12/31/2012

It's the rare traveler who doesn't vent about his encounter with rude airline staff.

But even among airlines there's different gradations of unpleasant employees - rude, ruder and rudest.

In a recent survey, the dubious distinction of having the rudest airline employees goes to American Airlines.

Large Airlines - Rudest Staff

The large airlines drew the most votes for rudest staff in the survey.

According to a survey of 1,000 visitors to Airfarewatchdog.com, 25% of fliers found American Airlines to have the rudest staff.

United came second with 21% of voters reporting the airline's staff as the rudest.

Delta took the third spot in the dishonorable ranking with 18% declaring its staff to be the rudest.

US Airways was fourth with 12% of voters condemning its personnel for rudeness.

We must add the caveat that the poll was an unscientific one.

Also, keep in mind that employees at the larger airlines have been battered by multiple hurricanes like bankruptcies, layoffs, pay cuts and lost pensions.

So it's hardly surprising their employees find little to be cheerful about.

Smaller Airlines - Less Rude

All the smaller airlines attracted far fewer votes for rude employees.

Virgin America, Jetblue, Alaska and Frontier fared much better with just 2% of voters finding their staff the rudest.

Rounding off the list of rudest airline personnel is Allegiant with 3% of the votes, Airtran with 4% and Southwest drawing 6% of the votes.