2017 Airline Quality Ratings Released

April 10, 2017 - 11:42 am

WICHITA, Kan. - The annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR) has been released for 2017. The AQR is a comprehensive study of performance and quality of the largest airlines in the United States.

The rating is co-compiled by Associate Professor Dean Headley at Wichita State University, and Brent Bowen from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The rating is a multifactor examination of the airlines based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings.

The Airline Quality Rating industry score for 2016 shows an industry that improved in overall performance quality over the previous year. Nine airlines (Alaska, American, Delta, ExpressJet, Frontier, SkyWest, Southwest, Spirit and United) showed improvement in AQR scores in 2016. Spirit had the largest improvement in their AQR score for 2016.  Three airlines (Hawaiian, JetBlue and Virgin America) all had a decline in their 2016 AQR score from the previous year.  JetBlue had the largest decline in AQR score for 2016.

Here are the 2017 Airline Rankings from the AQR:
1. Alaska Airlines
2. Delta Air Lines
3. Virgin America
4. JetBlue
5. Hawaiian Airlines
6. Southwest Airlines
7. SkyWest Airlines
8. United Airlines
9. American Airlines
10. ExpressJet
11. Spirit Airlines
12. Frontier Airlines

The industry mishandled baggage rate was better, decreasing from 3.24 per 1,000 passengers in 2015 to 2.70 per 1,000 passengers in 2016.

Involuntary denied boardings per passenger served by the industry improved to 0.62 per 10,000 passengers in 2016 from 0.76 per 10,000 passengers in 2015.

The consumer complaint rate across the industry declined to 1.52 per 100,000 passengers in 2016 from 1.90 per 100,000 passengers in 2015.

AQR criteria show that the on-time arrival percentage was better in 2016 (81.4% compared to 79.9% in 2015).

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