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Upcoming, 29th airline quality rating to reveal best U.S. carriers

Annual study shows improvement in airline quality, service and perceptions.

PRESCOTT, ARIZ. and WICHITA, KAN. – The 29th annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR), the longest running and most comprehensive study of the performance quality of the largest airlines in the United States, will be announced via a nationally distributed news release on Monday, April 8, at 3:01 a.m. EDT.

AQR researchers Dr. Dean Headley at the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University and Dr. Brent Bowen of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona, campus, use a combination of performance-based data that allows comparison of actual performance among airlines most used by the public.

Key findings so far show that three of the four AQR factors tracked – involuntary denied boardings, mishandled bags and customer complaints – improved for the airline industry in 2018. On-time performance, the most heavily weighted element in the AQR, slipped in 2018.

“Some good news emerging from this most recent AQR is that airlines continue to pay attention to customer concerns and are improving performance in areas that consumers care about,” said Headley, who in addition to co-founding the AQR is an emeritus professor of marketing at Wichita State. “There is improvement in key factors that is noticeable by consumers and that directly impacts the quality of the traveling public’s experience with airlines.”

This year’s report also reveals the lowest rate of bumped passengers for the industry and the lowest rate of mishandled baggage for the industry since the AQR started in 1991.

The new AQR findings cover the 2018 calendar year and rate the following airlines, listed in alphabetical order: Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.

“This year's results of quality and productivity are being released during a time of industry turbulence,” said Bowen, who also is a professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus. “The traveling public and the airline industry as a whole will benefit from closely monitoring this year’s Airline Quality Rating results as the most recognized airline ranking for 29 consecutive years.”

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.