Business
7:34 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Overall Airline Performance Up, Report Shows

Credit xlibber/Flickr--Creative Commons

Results of the 23rd annual national Airline Quality Rating were announced Monday at 8:30am (CT) at the National Press Club in Washington D. C.

The Airline Quality Rating system rates the performance of 14 different commercial airlines that carry the majority of all passengers in the United States.

Dean Headley, Wichita State University Professor and co-author of the study says nine of the 14 airlines rated improved their on time arrival performance.

“Eighty-two percent on time, that’s amazing for the complexity of the system that we have and they’re only losing less than half the bags that they lost just three or four years ago,” said Headley.

Overall, customer complaints were up 20 percent. Southwest had the lowest consumer complaint rate for the second year in a row.

United Airlines, who merged with Continental March 2012, the highest consumer complaint rate.

Virgin America had the best baggage handling rate and American Eagle the worst.

Headley and Brent Bowen, now of Purdue University in Indiana, started the Airline Quality Rating as a faculty research project on the Wichita State University campus in 1990. 

Headley is Associate Professor of Marketing at WSU, Bowen is Professor and Head of Aviation Technology.

The Airline Quality Rating Criteria includes four areas:

  • On-Time Arrival Performance - Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time performance (93.4%) for 2012. ExpressJet and American Airlines had the worst on-time performance (76.9%) for 2012.
  • Denied Boardings - SkyWest had the highest involuntary denied boardings rate at 2.32 per 10,000 passengers. Jet Blue had the lowest involuntary denied boardings rate at 0.01 per 10,000 passengers.
  • Mishandled Baggage - Virgin America had the best baggage handling rate (0.87 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) of all airlines. American Eagle had the worst baggage handling rate (5.80 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers) of all airlines.
  • Customer Complaints - Southwest again had the lowest consumer complaint rate (0.25 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines. United had the highest consumer complaint rate (4.24 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines rated.

2012 Airline Quality Rankings:

  1. Virgin America
  2. JetBlue
  3. AirTran
  4. Delta
  5. Hawaiian
  6. Alaska
  7. Frontier
  8. Southwest
  9. US Airways
  10. American
  11. American Eagle
  12. SkyWest
  13. ExpressJet
  14. United