Upcoming Airline Quality Rating to Reveal Best U.S. Carriers

Annual Study Shows Improvement in Airline Quality, Service and Perceptions


Newswise — PRESCOTT, Ariz. and WICHITA, Kan. – The 29th annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR), the longest running and most comprehensive study of the performance quality of the largest airlines in the United States, will be announced via a nationally distributed news release on Monday, April 8, at 3:01 a.m. EDT.

AQR researchers Dr. Dean Headley at the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University and Dr. Brent Bowen of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona, campus, use a combination of performance-based data that allows comparison of actual performance among airlines most used by the public.

Key findings so far show that three of the four AQR factors tracked – involuntary denied boardings, mishandled bags and customer complaints – improved for the airline industry in 2018. On-time performance, the most heavily weighted element in the AQR, slipped in 2018.

“Some good news emerging from this most recent AQR is that airlines continue to pay attention to customer concerns and are improving performance in areas that consumers care about,” said Headley, who in addition to co-founding the AQR is an emeritus professor of marketing at Wichita State. “There is improvement in key factors that is noticeable by consumers and that directly impacts the quality of the traveling public’s experience with airlines.”

This year’s report also reveals the lowest rate of bumped passengers for the industry and the lowest rate of mishandled baggage for the industry since the AQR started in 1991.

The new AQR findings cover the 2018 calendar year and rate the following airlines, listed in alphabetical order: Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.

“This year's results of quality and productivity are being released during a time of industry turbulence,” said Bowen, who also is a professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus. “The traveling public and the airline industry as a whole will benefit from closely monitoring this year’s Airline Quality Rating results as the most recognized airline ranking for 29 consecutive years.”

To see last year’s results, go to airlinequalityrating.com. This year’s results will be posted at the time of news release distribution.

MEDIA INFORMATION: Headley and Bowen will be available on Monday, April 8 to address any questions concerning this year’s Airline Quality Rating, or the airline industry in general.

About Wichita State University The mission of Wichita State University (www.wichita.edu) is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling about 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus (www.wsuinnovationcampus.org) is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wichitastate) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wichita.state).

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.

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