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Who's No. 1? Airline Quality Rating Report to reveal 2015 top carriers

Mar 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - The results of the 26th annual national Airline Quality Rating (AQR) will be announced at 9:30am EDT, Monday, April 4, at a news conference at the National Press Club, Zenger Room, in Washington, D.C.

Virgin America has finished on top of the rating for the past three years. This year though, three airlines are battling for air quality supremacy. Find out who finished No. 1 and which airlines are the best performing in the industry.

In addition, this is the first year Spirit Airlines is in the ranking.
The rating is conducted annually by researchers Dean Headley at the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University in Kansas and Brent Bowen, dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Ariz., campus.

AQR researchers use performance-based data to show whether the actual performance of airlines corresponds with the public perception of airline quality.

"Airlines are experiencing excellent cash flow right now," said Headley. "It is clear that customers are still not happy with the way they are treated by the airlines. Customers' concerns regarding the way they are treated should be part of the strategic considerations by airlines in this time of positive cash flow and travel volume growth."

"The goal of the Airline Quality Rating is not only to inform the traveling public of how U.S. airlines are performing, but to give the carriers the information they need to raise the standard of customer service," Bowen added. "And the results clearly show that there is room for improvement."

As the longest running and most established measure of airline performance and quality of the 13 largest airlines in the United States, the study helps sort out the difference in airline performance for the business community, the media and the general public.

A multifactor look at the overall performance quality of the airlines, the research-based report delves into elements such as on-time performance, denied boardings, mishandled baggage and customer complaints. The rating includes multiple criteria by which airline performance is measured in a quantitative and unbiased manner.
The new findings cover the 2015 calendar year and rate the following airlines, listed in alphabetical order: Alaska, American, Delta, Envoy, ExpressJet, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, SkyWest, Southwest, Spirit, United and Virgin America.

Additional issues the researchers will speak to reporters about include:

• How 2015 airline performance compares to 2014.

• How on-time performance, involuntary denied boardings, mishandled bags and customer complaints have changed during the past year.

• How airline performance has been affected by airline mergers.

• How the airline industry has performed during the past two decades.

Who's No. 1? Airline Quality Rating Report to reveal 2015 top carriers

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