Airline performance improves for third consecutive year

Airline performance improves for third consecutive year

Airline passengers are experiencing better performance by the airlines, even though it may cost more to fly.

For the third consecutive year, the performance of the nation’s leading carriers improved, according to the 21st annual national Airline Quality Rating ( It was the third best overall score in the 20 years researchers have tracked the performance of airlines.

Released during a news conference at the National Press Club today (Monday, April 4), the rankings show that of the 16 carriers rated for performance in both 2009 and 2010, nine airlines had improved Airline Quality Rating scores, and seven airlines had worse AQR scores for 2010.

The Airline Quality Rating is a joint research project funded as part of faculty research activities at Wichita State University and Purdue University.
The industry improved in three of the four major elements of the AQR: on-time performance, baggage handling and denied boardings. Customer complaints is the only element where performance declined.

Below is the 2011 numerical ranking of the nation’s leading 16 airlines, according to the Airline Quality Rating, with the 2010 ranking in parentheses:


AirTran (2)
Hawaiian (1)
JetBlue (3)
Alaska (11)
Southwest (5)
US Airways (8)
Delta (15)
Continental (6)
Frontier (7)
SkyWest (14)
American (9)
United (13)
Mesa (12)
Comair (16)
Atlantic Southeast (17)
American Eagle (18)

An electronic version of the full report, with details on each airline, is available at
For a look at 20 years of the Airline Quality Rating, go to
The co-authors invite the flying public to participate in the annual Survey of Frequent Flyers at