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Insta-CoGo: The Downright Ugly Skies

Carol Sottili

The annual Airline Quality Rating report [PDF] is out, and the news is not good.

The study, conducted since 1991 by the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Aviation Institute and by Wichita State University, concludes that the top 16 domestic airlines are bumping more passengers, losing more luggage, arriving later and receiving more consumer complaints.

The top performing carriers are AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest, Northwest and Frontier. The bottom five are Mesa, SkyWest, Comair, American Eagle and Atlantic Southeast. Among the so-called legacy carriers, Northwest came in at the No. ber 4 spot, followed by Continental (6th), United (8th), American (9th), Delta (10th) and US Airways (11th).

And the awards go to . . .

Best bet for being on time: Southwest at 80.1 percent (industry average is 73 percent).

Worst on-time performance: Atlantic Southeast at 64.7 percent.
Best chance at not getting involuntarily bumped: JetBlue at .02 per 10,000 passengers (industry average 1.14).

Best chance at getting bumped: Atlantic Southeast at 4.5.

Best chance at keeping your luggage: AirTran with 4.06 pieces of mishandled luggage per 1,000 (industry average 7.01).

Best chance at having a luggage incident: American Eagle at 13.55 per 1,000.

As for consumer complaints, overall they were up from .88 per 100,000 passengers in 2006 to 1.42 in 2007, a whopping increase of more than 60 percent. US Airways took the "prize" in this category, with a ratio of 3.16 complaints per 100,000. Fewest complaints were lodged against Southwest (.26).

Anyone surprised by these findings?

(To take a look at last Sunday's Coming & Going column -- or CoGo -- here's the link.)

By Carol Sottili |  April 8, 2008; 6:48 AM ET  | Category:  Airline Industry , Carol Sottili , Insta-CoGo
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No...airplanes are the new buses. What can you expect any more?

Posted by: Bev | April 8, 2008 5:27 PM

Might as well face it, if fuel prices keep rising, airline travel will become an expensive, niche product like it was 50 years ago. At that point, it will become something like enjoyable again. Right now, it's not quite as bad as being waterboarded. If (when?) cellphone use is allowed in the air, it will be like being waterboarded, only longer.

Posted by: Bill Mosby | April 8, 2008 8:58 PM

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