Last updated: 10:21 PM ET, Mon April 13 2015

Annual Report Spells Bad News for Airline Customer Satisfaction

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | April 13, 2015

Annual Report Spells Bad News for Airline Customer Satisfaction

The annual Airline Quality Rating Report is out, and while domestic carriers had a banner financial year in 2014, they did not sustain that across the board when it came to service.

According to the Associated Press, the report found that the airlines are down in all the wrong places, and up in all the wrong places, and that never amounts to satisfaction.

DOWN – On-time arrivals fell from 81.8 percent in 2012 to 78.4 percent in 2013 to 76.2 percent last year.

UP – The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 13 percent last year, according to the report.

UP – Overbooking. That went up three percent from the previous year for the number of passengers who were bumped from flights.

UP – Passenger complaints rose a whopping 22 percent year-over-year.

The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was developed and first announced in early 1991 as an objective method for assessing airline quality on combined multiple performance criteria. It is a joint project between Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

This current report, the Airline Quality Rating 2015, reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores for calendar year 2014. AQR scores for 2015 are based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers over the calendar year of 2014.

The AP noted that a lot of the averages are slightly skewed by the fact that the Airline Quality Rating report covers airlines as big as American, as small as Hawaiian and also includes that of regional airlines. For instance, on average, airlines lost one bag for every 275 passengers. Not a great mark considering that’s about one for every flight/flight-and-a-half. But the worst airline for that was regional carrier Envoy, which lost one bag for every 110 passengers.

Still, as the AP said, the on-time performance fell and complaint rates rose at American, United, Delta and Southwest – the nation’s four largest carriers.

Overall, Virgin America led the rankings for the third consecutive year followed by Delta and Hawaiian.

BONUS: TravelPulse Founder Mark Murphy appeared on Gerri Willis to share his thoughts on the annual report. Check out the video below.


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