Airline Industry Continues to Improve

The Bottom Line: 

 The latest Airline Quality Rating is released naming the best airline in the U.S.

 The Full Story:

  • The 27th annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was just released, and found that industry performance improved once again this year
  • Performance  was up in all four core elements tracked by the study - on-time  performance, rate of involuntary denied boardings, rate of mishandled  bags and the rate of customer complaints
  • After four years on top  Virgin America slipped to third this year, with Alaska Airlines, who  bought Virgin last year, taking the number one spot

While  it may seem like people are complaining about airlines more than ever,  the truth is things may actually be improving in the airline industry.  The 27th annual  Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was just released, and found that industry  performance was up in all four categories tracked by the study -   on-time performance, rate of involuntary denied boardings, and the rate  of mishandled baggage. 

Of the  12 carriers judged, nine of them improved in on-time performance,  baggage handling and customer complaints, while seven improved in all  four areas. Customer complaints, the one area that saw no improvement  last year, improved to 1.52 complaints per 100,000 passenger, down from  1.90 last year.

Overall,  Alaska Airlines topped the list as the nation’s leading airline, taking  over the top spot from Virgin America, which held the honor for the  past three years. Virgin, which was actually bought by Alaska Airlines  last year, now ranks in third, with Delta taking the number two  position. 

Airline Quality Rating Top Airlines (parenthesis is last year’s ranking)

  1. Alaska (5)
  2. Delta (3)
  3. Virgin America (1)
  4. JetBlue (2)
  5. Hawaiian (4)
  6. Southwest (6)
  7. SkyWest (7)
  8. United (8)
  9. American (10)
  10. ExpressJet (9)
  11. Spirit (13)
  12. Frontier (11) 

Source: Airline Quality Rating

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