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By Sheetal Sukhija | Tuesday April 10, 2018
Despite incidents, airline service quality was high in 2017
Despite a rise in incidents last year, a new report has now pointed out that the quality of airline service hit a record high in 2017. Dean Headley, a professor at Wichita State University and Dr. Brent Bowen from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have authored the Airline Quality Rating. Headley said, "I would have to say overall the airline experience is getting better for most people, although there are still people that are disappointed.” The duo have calculated the performance of carriers based on four factors measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) for the last 26 years. These factors include percentage of bags mishandled, on-time arrivals, denied boardings and complaints to the DoT. Headley added, ”Three out of the four things we look at actually got better this year.” According to the study, while the percentage of flights on time last year, 80.2 percent, was slightly lower than in 2016, there were also fewer complaints from passengers. Further, carriers are said to have posted record low numbers for mishandled bags and for passengers being involuntarily bumped from flights. It pointed out that denied boardings were down last year compared to 2016, as airlines changed their policies after a passenger was dragged off of a United Airlines plane. According to the authors, the video of the incident was so bad, it prompted a public outcry for airlines to drop, or dramatically reduce, the practice of overselling flights. Headley said, ”We hope the industry got the message. It was a horrible message that we saw last spring. Certainly, from that point in time through the end of 2017, the industry as a whole cut its involuntary denied boardings." - Read more