Airline Quality Ratings give carriers highest marks ever

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SARASOTA, FLA. - The airline quality rating for 2014 released on Monday shows the highest performance in the airline industry reported in the 23-year history of the Airline Quality Rating. The report is a joint research project by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University.

“We haven’t had a bad flight with JetBlue yet,” said Ron Bochie.

SRQ travelers who talked with ABC7 agree with the reports ratings and report good travel experiences with their airlines.

“It has been overall pretty good,” said Jean Lacock.

“AirTran used to be a great carrier into Sarasota that we preferred but since they left now we are back to United which is good,” said Martin Lacock.

“We always fly U.S. Air from Pennsylvania from Harrisburg so we don’t have any complaints,” said Brian Yoder.

“The survey comparing the airlines is only as good as the data,” says Paul Hudson, the President of Flyers He says the Airline Quality Rating is based on complaints made to the Federal Department of Transportation.

“Only about 10 percent actually get looked at by the DOT, the rest are just logged for statistical purposes.”

Hudson says many customers just don’t bother to complain any more which could be a good thing.

“After last week, the U.S. Supreme Court said that it is okay for an airline to penalize you if you complain to much.”

He says a customer was removed from an airlines frequent flyer program for allegedly complaining too much.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has said the airlines are immune from all state and local consumer protection laws.”

Hudson says the Airline Quality Rating is useful because the airlines can see where they rank and hopefully the ones on the bottom will improve themselves and those on top will be incentivized to stay on top.

1. Virgin America

2. JetBlue

3. Hawaiian

4. Delta

5. Alaska

6. Endeavor (new to the rankings this year; formerly Pinnacle)

7. US Airways

8. Southwest

9. American

10. AirTran

11. Frontier

12. United

13. ExpressJet

14. SkyWest

15. American Eagle

Read the complete report here.