Allegiant Airlines came first in a long-running annual study that ranks U.S airlines by how often flights arrive on time and other statistical measures.
Hawaiian Airlines ranked second, followed by Southwest Airlines and last year’s winner, Delta Air Lines.
Out of the 10 carriers that were ranked, American Airlines was bottom of the pile.
Allegiant Airlines came first in a long-running annual study that ranks U.S airlines
THE 2020 AIRLINE QUALITY RATING RANKING
1. Allegiant Airlines (new for 2020)
2. Hawaiian Airlines (5th last year)
3. Southwest Airlines (3)
4. Delta Air Lines (1)
5. Alaska Airlines (4)
6. JetBlue (2)
7. Frontier Airlines (9)
8. Spirit Airlines (7)
9. United Airlines (6)
10. American Airlines (8)
Source: Airline Quality Rating
The study – the Airline Quality Rating ranking – is now in its 30th year. It comes from academics at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who released the 2020 report today.
They used 2019 data collected by the U.S. Transportation Department not only to analyse punctuality, but to determine consumer complaint volumes and rates of mishandled baggage and passenger bumping.
Top-ranked Allegiant was a new addition to the ranking this year.
It came top for baggage service with a mishandled baggage rate of 1.75 per 1,000 checked bags in 2019, which the report pointed out was ‘noticeably better’ than the industry rate of 5.57 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags.
In the punctuality category it ranked sixth, with an on-time arrival percentage of 78.7 per cent.
It was seventh for customer satisfaction, with a customer complaint rate of 1.55 per 100,000 passengers – higher than the industry rate of 1.06 per 100,000 passengers.
Its involuntary denied boarding rate, meanwhile, was 0.42 per 10,000 passengers – placing it ninth in this list.
At the other end of the ranking, American Airlines saw its scores decline across all four criteria.
Hawaiian Airlines ranked second in the study by academics at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Southwest Airlines came third in the ranking, which is created using data collected by the U.S. Transportation Department on rates of on-time arrivals, mishandled baggage and passenger-bumping, plus consumer complaint volumes
Out of the 10 airlines, it was worst for baggage handling, with a mishandled baggage rate of 8.6 per 1,000 checked bags in 2019, compared to 3.8 per 1,000 bags in 2018.
It also came bottom for involuntary denied boardings with 0.57 per 10,000 passengers bumped from flights last year compared to 0.2 per 10,000 passengers in 2018.
On-time arrivals slipped to 77 per cent in 2019 compared to 78.4 per cent in 2018, while customer complaints were 1.64 per 100,000 passengers, up from 1.38 per 100,000 passengers in 2018. American Airlines was eighth out of 10 in both of these categories.
The report also noted that another seven airlines had seen declines in their overall scores for 2019.
They were Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United. Frontier had no change in its overall score from last year.
Out of the 10 carriers that were ranked, American Airlines was bottom of the pile
The report added: ‘The consumer complaint rate across the industry increased slightly to 1.06 per 100,000 passengers in 2019 from 1.04 per 100,000 passengers in 2018.
‘Of the 9,547 complaints registered with the DOT regarding all U.S domestic carriers, 74 per cent were for flight problems, baggage problems, reservation, ticketing and boarding issues, or customer service problems.
‘Lack of improvement in industry performance in all four areas tracked in the ratings is not a positive sign for consumers.’
As a result of the coronavirus chaos, next year’s results will likely be somewhat unpredictable.
American Airlines said in response to the results: ‘In 2019, we faced significant operational challenges that impacted our results, including the grounding of the Max and, most significantly, a higher number of out-of-service aircraft.
‘Over the past several months – prior to disruption of our operation due to Covid-19 – our operational performance showed significant improvement. These results included our best-ever performance for the holiday peak travel period and best operational quarter on record.
‘We’re proud of what our team accomplished in 2019 in spite of the operational challenges — especially in the fourth quarter — and the way they’ve continued to care for our customers in 2020 throughout Covid-19.’