Low-Cost Carriers Fare Best In Bad Group
You don't always get what you pay for... and sometimes,
all-too-rarely, you may actually get more. Low-cost carriers
AirTran, JetBlue and Southwest took the top three spots in a
national survey of airline quality, while overall the
industry fared poorly amid rising fuel prices and increasingly
At the bottom of the list released Monday were Comair, American
Eagle... and at the very bottom, Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
Brent Bowen, a study co-author and professor at the University
of Nebraska at Omaha's Aviation Institute, says 2007 was the "worst
year ever" for US airlines. "Overall operational performance and
quality declined once again to the lowest level that it's ever
been," he said.
The annual Airline Quality Rating survey found that more bags
were lost, more passengers were bumped, more consumers complained
and fewer flights arrived on-time than in the previous year.
The overall "quality score" the researchers gave the industry --
-2.16, as in "minus" -- was the lowest in the nearly two decades
they've been studying the airlines.
According to the study, the rate of consumer complaints was up a
whopping 60 percent last year. US Airways had the most complaints;
Southwest had the fewest. In all, complaints were up for 15 of the
16 airlines included in the study.
Mesa Airlines was the only exception. Wichita State University
professor and study co-author Dean Headley notes bout 37 percent of
the complaints were for flight problems, including canceled or
averted flights. About 20 percent concerned stolen, lost or damaged
baggage. Eleven percent involved poor customer service.
On-time arrivals dropped for the fifth straight year, with more
than one-quarter of all flights late, according to the survey.
Southwest had the best on-time performance; Atlantic Southeast had
the worst, with over 1/3 of its entire schedule delayed.
Full details of the survey are available at the FMI link below.
You might want to stock up on anti-indigestion medicine first.