Hawaii tourism gets one right: Hawaiian Airline ranks #1 in national airline quality rating


Tourist traffic to the Hawaiian islands may be down, but Hawaiian Airlines still managed to bag the distinction of being the nation’s top-ranked carrier for service quality in 2008, as reported by the 19th annual national Airline Quality Rating (AQR).

“Our congratulations go to the employees of Hawaiian Airlines, whose focus on the customer never wavered during another challenging year in the airline industry. They are the best in the business,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO.

The AQR study for 2008 found that Hawaiian was the industry’s top-ranked airline for on-time performance at 90.0 percent. Hawaiian also ranked second nationally for denied boarding performance at 0.07 per 10,000 passengers and for mishandled baggage at 2.97 per 1,000 passengers. In addition, Hawaiian’s customer complaint rate of 0.78 complaints per 10,000 passengers compared favorably with the overall industry average (1.10 complaints per 10,000 passengers).

Altogether, 17 of the nation’s leading airlines were evaluated in the study and their performances were judged using a mathematical formula based on a weighted average of 15 elements that are important to consumers when assessing the quality of airline services. Hawaiian’s AQR score for 2008 was -0.69, which compares with the industry average of -1.63.

This marks the second time in three years that Hawaiian has received the highest score in the nation’s most comprehensive study of airline performance and quality. Hawaiian was also the top-rated airline for 2006, but was not included in the AQR report for 2007.

The AQR study is a faculty research project conducted jointly by Saint Louis University and Wichita State University and is available online at http://aqr.aero/aqrreports/2009aqr.