Based on the Airline Quality Rating (AQR) Report, which covers 18 domestic carriers, here is a list of the airlines that could stand to do the most work on making their customers happy. The report’s conclusions are based on surveys of airline industry experts, with positive and negative values assigned to different elements in airline quality.
Worst Major Airlines >
5. US Airways 2009 AQR Score: -1.19
Rudest flight attendants, worst food, below-average score in the J.D. Power 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.
Domestic Baggage Fees:
1st Bag: $25 2nd Bag: $35 3rd Bag: $100 Overweight Bags: $50 Extra (51 – 70 lbs) $100 Extra (71 – 100 lbs) Oversized Bags: $100 Extra (larger than 62″)
4. American Airlines 2009 AQR Score: -1.25
This year AA has had frequent incidents of mishandled baggage with an average of 4.07 reports per 1,000 passengers, according to the Air Travel Consumer Reports (this is the worst rating among the major airlines in the study). SeatGuru’s survey named American Airlines as one of the three airlines that have the rudest flight attendants and the worst food.
High number of mishandled baggage reports. However, Alaska Airlines did a stellar job when it came to delays, with 88 percent of its flights having on-time arrivals (in the 12-month period ending August 2010).
United received a score of “about average” in the J.D. Power 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Study but it placed last in passenger satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to the SeatGuru survey, United joins American Airlines and US Airways as one of the three worst airlines for meals and rude flight attendants. Ranked second in consumer complaints.
Delta had the worst AQR among major airlines with a -1.73, and a couple of its regional airlines did even worse (see Comair and Atlantic Southeast below). It also had the largest drop in passenger satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to the Air Travel Consumer Reports, Delta was number one in delays for major airlines (78 percent of flights arriving on time in the 12-month period ending August 2010) and first in consumer complaints (averaging 2.23 per 100,000 enplanements in 2010). Also, make sure to note Delta’s baggage fees below, as they can get quite painful for those hauling heavy and/or large cargo.