For the second consecutive year, America
West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) today was ranked the nation`s number one carrier for
customer satisfaction for flights of 500 miles or less in the Airline Customer
Satisfaction-U.S. Flights Study conducted by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D.
Power and Associates.
“The study revealed that in addition to being ranked number one, we
improved in nine of the 10 categories which contributed to the overall
satisfaction rating and significantly improved our performance in the long-
haul category. With this recognition by frequent flyers for a second year,
our employees have demonstrated that they don`t rest on their laurels, they
build on their success,” said William A. Franke, chairman. “Being ranked the
best by those who fly the most is an outstanding testament to the across-the-
board improvements accomplished by our employees. We will continue to make
ourselves the kind of airline that our customers demand.”
During 1997, America West`s on-time performance improved by 10 percentage
points as measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and flight
cancellations decreased by 50 percent according to Company data. In addition,
America West ranked number one in baggage handling as recorded in the 1997 Air
Travel Consumer Report published by the DOT.
These results and a number of other initiatives were part of a companywide
focus on customer service and operational reliability. A campaign called
Pride in All We Do provided the foundation for engaging the employees in an
effort to define goals and develop tools to meet those goals. As part of the
campaign, employees held sessions known as “WorkOuts” to brainstorm and offer
recommendations on how to improve the Airline`s operational performance.
In addition, America West conducted focus groups throughout 1997 with its
key customer constituencies including frequent flyers. These groups provided
important feedback that the Company used to create and implement new programs
and systems designed to improve its operations.
Also in 1997, the Company introduced several systems designed to upgrade
the Airline`s operations, including technologies that improved flight
scheduling, fare pricing, passenger processing, baggage handling and financial
accounting. In addition, a state-of-the-art reservation system was
implemented, enhancing the system through increased speed, efficiency and
“We took necessary steps to achieve the quality performance that customers
expect. The goal has been to provide service that sets an example-every
customer, every flight, every time,” said Richard Goodmanson, chief executive
officer and president. “Each of the 12,000 employees has a reason to be proud
of our accomplishments. Our great service and product improvement is
evidenced by this customer satisfaction recognition and, in turn, our
financial performance for 1997 was the best in our company history.”
America West will be rewarding employees with more than $1 million in
American Express Gift Certificates in the amount of $100 for full-time and $50
for part-time and temporary employees as recognition of this achievement.
The Frequent Flyer Magazine/J.D. Power and Associates study is the only
independent, publicly released survey of nationally representative frequent
travelers. Approximately 6,000 flight evaluations by frequent flyers, who
average 27 U.S. round trips a year, were included in the study, which ranks
the nine major U.S. carriers for both long (more than 500 miles) and short
(less than 500 miles) flights. Each flight and airline is evaluated on
several pre-flight, in-flight and airport factors including schedule/flight
accommodations, frequent flyer programs, aircraft interior, flight/attendants,
food service, on-time performance, seat comfort, in-flight amenities, airport
check-in, gate location and post-flight service.
America West Airlines, the nation`s ninth largest carrier, serves more
than 90 destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico offering travelers the
same full-service product they have come to expect from other national
airlines but with low fares. America West ranked number one in baggage
handling as recorded in the 1997 Air Travel Consumer Report published by the
U.S. Department of Transportation. For reservations call 1-800-2-FLY-AWA (1-
America West Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of America West
Holdings Corporation, an aviation and travel services company with 1997 sales
of $1.9 billion.
This press release, as well as releases issued in the past year by America
West Holdings and its affiliates, can be accessed on the America West Internet
site at http://www.americawest.com.