Category Archives: Airline Quality Rating

Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle issue their annual Airline Quality Rating for U.S. airlines

Airline Quality Rating 2014

Airline Quality Rating 2014

Airline Quality Rating

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. This current report, the Airline Quality Rating 2014, reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores for calendar year 2013. AQR scores for 2014 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 2013.

The Airline Quality Rating 2014 is a summary of month-by-month quality ratings for U.S. airlines that are required to report performance by virtue of having at least 1% of domestic scheduled-service passenger revenue during 2013. Using the Airline Quality Rating system of weighted averages and monthly performance data in the areas of on-time arrivals, involuntary denied boardings, mishandled baggage, and a combination of 12 customer complaint categories, airlines’ comparative performance for the calendar year of 2013 is reported. This research monograph contains a brief summary of the AQR methodology, detailed data and charts that track comparative quality for domestic airline operations for the 12-month period of 2013, and industry results. Also, comparative Airline Quality Rating data for 2012 are included, where available, to provide historical perspective regarding performance quality in the industry.

Airline Quality Rating 2014

 

What the Airline Quality Rating Tells Us About 2013

The Airline Quality Rating industry score for 2013 shows an industry that improved in overall performance quality over the previous year. As an industry, performance in 2013 was better than the previous two years. The AQR score for 2013 was the best industry score for all of the 23 year history of the Airline Quality Rating. United Airlines had the largest improvement in overall score, while Air Tran Airlines had the largest decline in AQR score for 2013.

The overall industry AQR score was improved for 2013, even though declines were seen in two of the four performance areas tracked. As an industry, the AQR criteria show that on-time arrival percentage was worse (78.4% in 2013 compared to 81.8% in 2012). Industry mishandled baggage rates were worse, increasing from 3.07 per 1,000 passengers in 2012 to 3.21 per 1,000 passengers in 2013. Involuntary denied boardings per passenger served by all carriers improved from 0.97 per 10,000 passengers in 2012 to 0.81 per 10,000 passengers in 2013. Consumer complaint rates across the industry improved to 1.13 per 100,000 passengers in 2013 from 1.43 per 100,000 passengers in 2012. Of the 9,684 complaints registered with DOT regarding all U.S. domestic carriers, 64.5% were for either flight problems, customer service problems, or baggage problems. Taking all 15 rated airlines together, the AQR score for the industry improved from a level of -1.11 in 2012 to -1.07 in 2013. With a mixed bag of gains and losses across the 15 carriers rated, the improvement in AQR score for the industry is a positive sign. The movement of the AQR score to a record low level during difficult economic times speaks well of the industry.

AirTran Airways (FL) On-time performance declined in 2013 (79.4% in 2013 compared to 87.1% in 2012). AirTran’s denied boardings performance (1.29 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 0.95 in 2012) was worse. A decrease in customer complaint rate to 0.73 complaints per 100,000 passengers in 2013 was better performance than their 2012 rate of 0.91. The mishandled baggage rate of 3.71 bags per 1,000 passengers in 2013 was worse than their 2012 rate of 1.58. With improvement in only one area rated, Air Tran Airways overall AQR score showed the largest decline in of all airlines rated in 2013.

Alaska Airlines (AS) had performance improvement in two of the four areas tracked. Slightly worse on-time arrival performance (87.2% in 2013 compared to 87.5% in 2012) and a very small increase in mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers (2.94 in 2013 compared to 2.93 in 2012) were their only negatives. Fewer customer complaints (0.44 per 100,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 0.51 in 2012) and a lower rate of involuntary denied boardings (0.39 in 2013 compared to 0.63 per 10,000 passengers in 2012) were the positives. Alaska Airlines’ overall AQR score improved for 2013. With two of four areas showing improvement, the AQR score of -0.77 for Alaska Airlines for 2012 was improved to -0.69 for 2013.

American Airlines (AA) AQR score for 2013 stayed nearly the same as their score for 2012. The slight improvement in AQR score (-1.10 in 2013 compared to -1.11 for 2012) reflects a combination of better performance for on-time arrivals (78.1% in 2013 compared to 76.9% in 2012) and involuntary denied boardings (0.43 in 2013 compared to 0.73 in 2012) and a decline in performances regarding baggage handling (3.02 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 2.92 in 2012) and customer complaints per 100,000 passengers (1.99 in 2013 compared to 1.80 in 2012). The combination of performance outcome gains and losses produced very little improvement in their AQR score for 2013.

American Eagle (MQ) had a denied boarding rate of 1.14 for 2013, an increase from 1.07 per 10,000 passengers in 2012. The airline had an increase in the rate of customer complaints (1.70 in 2013 from 1.27 per 100,000 passengers in 2012). On-time performance was 72.1% in 2013 compared to 81.6% for 2012. Their mishandled baggage rate of 5.90 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 was only slightly worse than their rate of 5.80 for 2012, but was still well above the industry rate of 3.21. This combination of performance on the criteria produced a decline in AQR score for 2013 (-1.95 in 2013 compared to -1.78 for 2012.

Delta Air Lines (DL) On-time percentage for 2013 shows a decline over 2012 (86.5% in 2012 and 84.5% in 2013). Their rate of mishandled baggage of 2.19 bags per 1,000 passengers in 2013 was slightly higher than the 2.10 rate for 2012, but was better than the industry average of 3.21 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. An increase in denied boardings (2013 rate of 0.57 per 10,000 passengers compared to 0.51 for 2012) and a reduced rate of customer complaints (0.59 in 2013 compared to 0.73 in 2012) combined to basically keep Delta’s AQR score the same for 2013 (-0.59 in 2013 compared to -0.58 in 2012).

Endeavor Air (9E) Data for Endeavor Air reflects data for renamed Pinnacle Airlines (thru of 7/31/13) with the Endeavor Air name becoming official on 8/01/13. On-time performance (80.3%) is better than the industry average of 78.4%. Endeavor Air’s involuntary denied boarding performance (0.85 per 10,000 passengers) compares favorably to the industry average of 0.89. A customer complaint rate of 0.86 complaints per 100,000 passengers is better than the industry average rate of 1.13 for 2013. Their mishandled baggage rate of 2.66 per 1,000 passengers was below the industry rate of 3.21 bags per 1,000 passengers for 2013. Overall, Endeavor Air entered the AQR ratings with score of -0.85 for 2013.

Frontier Airlines (F9) On-time performance in 2013 (73.1%) declined compared to 2012 (77.9%). Frontier’s denied boarding performance (1.23 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 0.78 in 2012) was worse than last year. Their mishandled baggage rate of 2.15 per 1,000 passengers was slightly improved from their 2012 rate of 2.22. A customer complaint rate of 3.09 complaints per 100,000 passengers for 2013 was nearly three times higher than their 2012 rate of 1.05. Frontier’s 2013 AQR score of -1.35 compared to -0.78 for 2012 was among the largest drops in AQR score of all the airlines rated.

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) On-time performance (93.3% in 2013 and 93.4% for 2012) is the best of all airlines rated for 2012 and 2013. Hawaiian’s involuntary denied boarding performance (0.17 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 and 0.18 in 2012) is among the best of the airlines rated and compares very favorably to the industry average of 0.89. A customer complaint rate of 1.06 complaints per 100,000 passengers is higher than last year’s rate of 0.89. Their mishandled baggage rate of 2.25 per 1,000 passengers is better than their 2012 rate of 2.88. Hawaiian had the third best AQR score for 2013 at -0.59.

JetBlue Airways (B6) On-time performance in 2013 declined to 74.4% from 79.1% in 2012. Jet Blue’s denied boarding performance (0.01 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 and 2012) is consistently the lowest of all the airlines rated. A customer complaint rate of 0.63 complaints per 100,000 passengers was lower in 2013 (0.79 in 2012) and was well below the industry average of 1.13 for 2013. Their mishandled baggage rate of 1.91 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 was second best among airlines rated but was higher than their 2012 rate of 1.88. JetBlue had the second best AQR score (-0.42) of the airlines rated for 2013.

SkyWest Airlines (OO) On-time performance of 79.7% in 2013, declined from 81.6% for 2012. SkyWest’s involuntary denied boardings performance (2.55 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 2.32 in 2012) increased and was well above the industry average of 0.89. A customer complaint rate of 0.80 complaints per 100,000 passengers in 2013 compared to the 2012 rate of 0.88 had a positive impact on their 2013 AQR score. Their mishandled baggage rate of 4.93 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 improved from the 2012 rate of 5.26 bags per 1,000 passengers. SkyWest’s AQR score improved slightly in 2013 to -1.84 from -1.88 in 2012.

United Airlines (UA) On-time arrival performance improved from 77.4% in 2012 to 79.3% in 2013. Their mishandled baggage rate decreased from 3.87 per 1,000 passengers in 2012 to 3.47 in 2013. Performance regarding involuntary denied boardings of 1.83 per 10,000 passengers in 2012 improved to 1.17 in 2013. A lower customer complaint rate of 2.14 in 2013 compared to 4.24 per 100,000 passengers in 2012 combined with improvements in all other performance areas to move United’s 2013 AQR score to -1.43 from -2.18 in 2012. United was the only airline to show improvement in all four areas rated in 2013. United also had the most improvement in AQR score of all airlines rated for 2013.

US Airways (US) showed improvement in two of the four performance areas tracked for 2013. A closer look reveals that US Airways performed worse in on-time performance (81.1% in 2013 compared to 85.9% in 2012) and mishandled baggage (2.52 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 2.14 in 2012). A customer complaint rate of 1.42 per 100,000 passengers in 2013 compared favorably to a 2012 rate 0f 1.74. An involuntary denied boarding rate of 0.61 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 0.68 in 2012 was also an area of performance gain for US Airways. Their overall 2013 AQR score of -0.88 reflects a slight decline over their -0.87 score for 2012.

Virgin America (VX) On-time performance of 82.1% in 2103 was a decline from their 83.5% for 2012. Virgin America’s involuntary denied boarding performance (0.04 per 10,000 passengers in 2013 compared to 0.07 in 2012) was again the second best of the airlines rated and compares very favorably to the industry average of 0.89. A 2013 customer complaint rate of 1.28 complaints per 100,000 passengers is higher than the industry average of 1.13, but is an improvement over their 2012 rate of 1.50. Their mishandled baggage rate of 0.97 per 1,000 passengers in 2013 (best of all airlines rated) is clearly better than the industry rate of 3.21 bags per 1,000 passengers, but is a decline from their 2012 rate of 0.87. Overall, Virgin America improved on their industry leading AQR score of -0.35 for 2012 with a 2013 AQR score of -0.32.

 

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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