Airline Quality Rating

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The airline quality rating is a study conducted by Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aviation University to test the performance of major U.S. airlines.  The results for 2014 were based on 15 elements in four major areas of what airline travelers consider most important.   Hawaiian Airlines, Delta, and Southwest Airlines were the 3 of the total 12 airlines evaluated that improved from 2013.  Virgin America performed the best because of its superior operational performance.  The airline is known for its amenities and guest service with custom-designed seating.  It had the lowest rate of involuntary denied boarding and was the top performer for the baggage-handling rate.  Hawaiian Airlines received the best on-time performance.

Envoy airlines had the worst ratings along with Express Jet and SkyWest.  Frontier received the highest rate of customer complaints.  The study overall generated poor results because of increased late flights and lost bags.  76.2% of flights arrived on time a decrease of 2.2% from 2013.  For the lost bags category airlines on average lost 1 bag for every 275 passengers.  Customer complaints rose 22% and passengers not allowed to board because of overbooking was estimated at 3 percent.  Airlines primary focus to maximize capacity may have been the reason why all four areas tracked declined for 2014 after 2013 was considered one of the best in nearly 25 years.

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Increased competition has been suggested to improve airline quality moving forward.  Alaska Airlines and Delta are examples of how competition can lead to better service.  Alaska Airlines has been the primary carrier for the Northwest region but Delta Airlines increased their presence by adding flights to the same region.  As a result, Alaska Airlines launched “Alaska Beyond” to keep their customers loyal.  Alaska Airlines upgraded seats, food, and on-board entertainment to all passenger 737 flights.  Passengers now have their own personal USB chargers and can enjoy food and wine from an award winning Seattle chef.  Competition is needed in the airline industry because it increases standards and can improve the airline quality rating for next year.  Here is the full report http://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=aqrr