“America’s Meanest Airlines” exposed

Today on Yahoo Travel, “America’s Meanest Airlines” were revealed. The story, “based on the Airline Quality Rating (AQR) Report, which covers 18 domestic carriers,” lambasts American Airlines, United, Delta and several other airlines, including four regional carriers.

The Airline Quality Rating Report is conducted jointly by professors at Wichita State University and Purdue University. The report is generated using “subjective surveys of consumer opinion that are infrequently done,” with the goal of creating “a rating for individual airlines with interval scale properties that is comparable across airlines and across time.” The AQR Report has been around since 1991 and issues yearly results in a month-by-month format with data on the rate of customer complaints, denied boarding and more.

Sins such as baggage fees are cited in the Yahoo Travel article, as are additional sources of consumer complaints. For example, “this year AA has had frequent incidents of mishandled baggage with an average of 4.07 reports per 1,000 passengers, according to the Air Travel Consumer Reports.” That’s a brutal ratio by anyone’s standards.

The 2010 AQR Report is available online if you’d like to investigate further yourself.

[via Yahoo Travel]

[Photo by lazlo-photo via Flickr.]