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Consumer complaints about the airline industry declined in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to the Airline Quality ...
Rating. The annual study looks at a variety of criteria, and weighs the performance of the nation's top 15 airlines. (April 7)
Tags:airline industry complaints,airline industry consumer complaints,airline quality improves,airline quality rating,ap,AP News,Associated Press
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SHOTLIST: ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY1. Mid of planes at Reagan National Airport2. Mid of US Airways planes on tarmac3. Mid of Jet Blue passengers at ticket counter4. Tight of Jet Blue ticketing agent5. Mid of Southwest passenger at ticketing area6. Mid of United passenger at ticketing area7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Prof. Dean Headley, Airline Quallity Rating Co-Author (Transcribed Below)8. Mid of American Airlines jetliner on runway9. Tight of American Airlines jetliner on tarmac10. AP Graphic Airline Quality Rating11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Prof. Dean Headley, Airline Quallity Rating Co-Author (Transcribed Below)12. AP Graphic (2) Airline Quality Rating13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Prof. Dean Headley, Airline Quallity Rating Co-Author (Transcribed Below)14. Mid of passenger at ticket area15. Mid of Hawaiin Airlines check in sign16. Wide Alaska Airlines ticketing area17 Mid of Alaska Airlines ticketing area18. Mid of Delta ticketing area19. Mid of American Airlines jetliner on runway20. Mid of American Airlines ticketing area21. Tight of American Airlines ticketing area22. Mid of Frontier Airlines jetliner taking offVOICEOVER SCRIPTAIR TRAVELERS COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY TO DOT DROPPED BY 15 PERCENT THIS PAST YEAR...COMPARED WITH THE YEAR BEFORE. THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE AIRLINE QUALITY RATING....AN ANNUAL STUDY THAT'S NOW IN ITS 24TH YEAR. THIS YEAR'S AQR FOCUSED ON AMERICA'S15 BIGGEST DOMESTIC CARRIERS. -- EXAMINING FOUR KEY ELEMENTS -- ON-TIME PERFORMANCE....DENIED BOARDINGS....MISHANDLED BAGGAGE..AND CONSUMER COMPLAINTS.SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr. Dean Headley, Airline Quality Rating Co-Author"Generally speaking, we're on an upward trend for airline quality for 2-3 years. 2007 was the worst year we ever had in the 24 years we've been doing this, so we're kind of moving in the right direction."SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS:HAWAIIN AIRLINES HAD THE BEST ON-TIME PERFORMANCE IN 2013 -- 93.3 PERCENT WHILE AMERICAN EAGLE HAD THE WORST ON-TIME PERFORMANCE -- 72.1 PERCENT.VIRGIN AMERICA HAD THE BEST BAGGAGE HANDLING RATE -- LESS THAN 1 MISHANDLED BAG PER 1000 PASSENGERS.WHILE AMERICAN EAGLE HAD THE WORST BAGGAGE HANDLING RATE -- NEARLY 6 MISHANDLED BAGS PER THOUSAND PASSENGERS.SOUTHWEST HAD THE LOWEST CONSUMER COMPLAINT RATE -- JUST POINT .34 PER 100,000 PASSENGERS.BUT ITS NUMBERS IN ALL FOUR CATEGORIES WERE NOT AS GOOD LAST YEAR AS THEY WERE IN 2012.SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr. Dean Headley, Airline Quality Rating Co-Author"They bought Air Tran, they are trying to consolidate, they're expanding their routes, they're going new routes, they're going international for the first time….southwest is becoming a much more complex operation than they have had in the past, and that always adds a few headache."THE STUDY'S CO-AUTHORS SAY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ONLY RECEIVES ABOUT 9300 COMPLAINTS FROM AIR TRAVELERS ANNUALLY BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN ONLY REGISTER IT WITH THE AIRLINE -- AND LEAVE IT AT THAT.HIS ADVICE TO TRAVELERS -- LET D-O-T KNOW WHEN THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH SERVICE.HIS ADVICE TO THE AIRLINES -- MAKE CUSTOMER SERVICE A HIGHER PRIORITY WITH FRONTLINE EMPLOYEES.NED BARKER...ASSOCIATED PRESS.