Additionally, the AQR – a collaborative research project funded by faculty research activities at Wichita State University's W. Frank Barton School of Business and Prescott of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University In the US, the airline industry performed better in 2017 than in previous years.
The difference in the total score of the best airline has dropped between Alaska Air and Alaska only to 0.005 No. 2 De lta – who occupied the same places as last year.
Key findings show that three of the four observed AQR factors – involuntarily denied boarding, battered bags and customer complaints – have improved for the airline industry in 2017. the time performance, the most heavily weighted element in the AQR, slipped in 2017.
This year's report also shows the lowest rate of stormy passengers for the industry and the lowest rate of fake luggage for the industry since the AQR in 1991.
Alaska and Delta's output fell slightly in 2017, but the couple is still ahead. A significant finding is the gap between the best and worst airlines, which was tightened in 2017.
In all four categories – American Airlines, Frontier and United – improved only three of the twelve airlines. Nine of the assessed airlines performed better in 2017 than their 2016 AQR results. Airlines that performed better in 2017 included American Airlines, Express Jet, Frontier, Hawaii, Jet Blue, SkyWest, Southwest, Spirit and United. Those airlines whose values declined in 2017 were Alaska, Delta and Virgin America.
"Overall, Another Good Year for Industry Performance The industry's best AQR for 2017 is mainly due to improvements in the number of involuntarily denied boarding and the rate of mishandled bags consumers have requested, and the Industry has listened and improved, "said Dean Headley, Associate Professor of Marketing, Wichita State University's W. Frank Barton School of Business.
Study co-researcher Brent Bowen, aviation science professor at Prescott Arizona campus, says the use of social media by passengers to post real-time issues puts pressure on airlines to respond immediately and to change their culture.
"A year ago everyone watched video of a passenger being towed out of an airplane, and even in recent months, airlines with negative publicity had to fight through traditional media and social media for everything from mishandled bags and extended delays 2017 was a tough year for airlines in the public eye, "said Bowen. "But the results of the study show that they are trying – even if they may appear incremental to the traveling public – the numbers are there, and we see improvements almost everywhere with increased transparency in their internal processes and faster response times for passenger issues."  An electronic version of the full report detailing each airline is available at airline qualifying.
Inside rating this year
Below is the 2017 rankings of the country's 12 largest airlines according to the Airline Quality Rating, with the 2016 ranking in parentheses:
1. Alaska (1)
2. Delta (2)
3. JetBlue (4)
4. Hawaiian (5)
5. Southwest (6)
6. SkyWest (7)
7. Virgin America (3)
8. United (8)
9th American (9)
10th ExpressJet (10)
11th Border (12)
12th Spirit (11) [19659006Forinformationthe2017assessmentincludesthesame12airlinesasin2016HoweverVirginAmericaandAlaskawereworkingonamergeroftheairlineswhichwascompletedinearly2018
Hawaiian Airlines had the best punctuality performance (88.2 percent) for 2017, and Virgin America had the worst performance (70.0 percent).
Four airlines improved their on-time performance in 2017. Six of the 12 rated airlines had a punctual arrival rate of more than 80 percent. Punctual performance for the industry in 2017 was 80.2 percent, compared with 81.4 percent in 2016.
Involuntarily Denied Boardings
Delta was the industry leader in preventing involuntary denied boarding incidents in 2017 at a rate of 0.05 per 10,000 passengers each. Spirit had the highest rate of involuntary denied boarding days at 0.82 per 10,000 passengers.
Nine airlines improved their rate for denied boarding in 2017. ExpressJet saw the biggest improvement, and Spirit saw the largest increase in the rate of missed boarding. Delta (0.05) and Hawaiian (0.09) are clear industry leaders in preventing incidents of denied boarding. Industrial performance was better in 2017 (0.34 per 10,000 passengers) than the year before (0.62).
Industry performance is the lowest denied involuntarily since the introduction of the AQR in 1991.
Spirit had the best baggage handling rate (1.61 pieces of baggage handled per 1,000 passengers) of all airlines, and ExpressJet had the worst baggage handling rate (3.88) of badly handled baggage per 1,000 passengers.
Seven airlines had incorrectly behaved baggage tariffs in 2017. The industry tariff dropped from 2.70 per 1,000 passengers in 2016 to 2.46 in 2017, setting another industry record for the lowest rate of baggage mistaken the introduction of AQR.
Consumer Complaints 19659006] Southwest had the lowest reclamation rate (0.47 per 100,000 passengers) of all airlines. Spirit had the highest reclamation rate (5.59 per 100,000 passengers).
Customer complaints per 100,000 passengers decreased from 1.52 in 2016 to 1.35 in 2017. Most complaints (74 percent) to the Department of Transportation were due to flight problems (42.0 percent), luggage (11.0 percent), customer service (10.6 percent) and reservations, ticketing and boarding (10.4 percent).
Learn more about the Airline Quality Rating
As the nation's longest Airline Quality Rating sets the industry standard, offering consumers and industry observers the opportunity to compare the quality of service among airlines that are objective, performance-related Use data.
No other study in the country is based on performance measurements like the AQR. The criteria in the report are reviewed to address two basic elements: they must be easily available from published data sources for each airline and be important to consumers for the quality of airlines. The resulting criteria include areas such as baggage handling, customer complaints, involuntary rejected boarding and on-time arrivals.
The co-authors invite air travelers to participate in the annual passenger survey at airplanequality.com/survey.