The Nation’s Largest U.S. Airlines Ranked In New Study

According to the 29th Airline Quality Rating, which was released Monday, Delta Air Lines is once again one of the highest ranking airlines. Delta rose to the top as the airline with the lowest number of issues and complaints.

The quality rating looked at America’s most popular airlines, and it based its ranking from data collected in 2018. The data included various pieces of information from the airlines, including the amount of mishandled baggage, on-time performance, and involuntary denied boarding’s.

The rating claims to be the most comprehensive airline performance and quality study of the biggest airlines. It’s also a research project between the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.

Last year, Delta came in at No. 2 on the AQR ranking, coming in just behind Alaska Airlines. However, Alaska Airlines dropped to No. 4 this year. The airline’s drop is contributed to the merging of Alaska Airlines and Virgin Airlines, and it includes the performance of both airlines.

A popular traveled Arizona airline Southwest Airlines came in at No. 3.

In addition to ranking airlines, the AQR also tracks airlines trends, like the amount of industry mishaps. The data points followed are: involuntary denied boarding’s, mishandled bags, on-time performance, and customer complaints. There was an improvement seen in all the data points but on-time performance, which decreased.

“These results are very needed by the traveling public, given all the recent reports of airlines losing the confidence of key consumers. Travelers can be confident that our airlines are improving,’ said Brent Bowen, the co-author of the AQR study and a professor of aeronautical science.

These three data points are the lowest they’ve been since 1991, which is the year the study began. However, the 2018 data doesn’t include issues that were caused by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Airline Quality Rating Based on 2018 performance

  1. Delta
  2. Jet Blue
  3. Southwest
  4. Alaska
  5. Hawaiian
  6. United
  7. Spirit
  8. American
  9. Frontier