Embry-Riddle Survey: Airline Quality Of Service Up

Published: Monday, April 9, 2018 - 7:49pm
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The nation’s longest running annual Airline Quality Survey is out for 2018.

Based on metrics such as mishandled baggage, consumer complaints and on-time arrivals, overall quality is up from last year.

Alaska and Delta claimed the top two spots for overall performance.

American, which operates a hub in Phoenix, finished ninth out of the top 12 carriers. 

“This is a national ranking system and it’s based solely on publicly available quantitative statistical data,” said Brent Bowen, professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and co-author of the results.

Bowen said infrequent travelers are likely to be the most disappointed.

“We’re seeing a lot of complaints about a la carte pricing and seating issues. Some airlines now have five classes of seating. It’s hard especially for the infrequent traveler to navigate through this automated system with no human assistance generally."

When it comes to international flights, foreign press agencies like The Telegraph have reported that some carriers have deliberately overestimated arrival times for foreign travel but arrived at a destination "early" in customers’ minds. Bowen said that type of practice is not plausible for U.S.-only routes. “Internationally, there’s no U.S. regulating authority. You have to certify your numbers or it could be a criminal act.”

The research is independently conducted by Embry-Riddle and Wichita State University and receives no airline industry funding.