Impressive airline quality rating for Delta

The annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was recently released which looks at airline performances 4-16-15-4in twelve major categories.  They look at on-time percentage, customer complaints, mishandled baggage, and involuntary denied boardings (such as an oversold flight).  The numbers are  compared to previous years, broken down individually by airline, and then compared overall as a stack ranking of the airlines.  Virgin America took the top spot for the third straight year, but I was more curious in how Delta, Southwest, and American did based on my post last month about delayed being the new normal.

In that post I wrote about how in the last six months of flying American and Southwest I have experienced way more delays than ever before.  I also touched on how when studying the Air Travel Consumer Report Delta performed much better than American and Southwest.  So for the AQR I wanted to continue the comparison of my normal carriers (American and Southwest) versus Delta.  The result?  Delta wins the battle, but should hold off on celebrating.

When comparing this year to last year in each of the four categories Delta only improved in one category: involuntary denied boarding.  This is why they shouldn’t be celebrating.  One could argue that when you have such high numbers it’s inevitable that there is a drop off, but I would argue if you’re not going to improve at least try to sustain!  Also, the industry as a whole is dropping in ratings, and Delta is tied to that trend which is not encouraging.  That being said, when I compare Delta to American, Southwest, and all the major airlines as a whole Delta is flying high.  Delta came in first in all four categories except one.

I hate dogging American and Southwest when I’ve had so many positive experiences flying with them, but I have to call it as I see it.  And what I see are these airlines reporting record profits along with record low performance ratings, which to me is beyond frustrating.  Is Delta the answer?  As I’ve said before it might be, but I have to take a lot more things into consideration, such as what Delta flights are available to me and losing my status.  Below you’ll find the results of my comparison from the AQR.



Readers, have any of you switched your loyalty to another airlines recently, and if so why?

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  1. I would think the numbers for 2015 may even be worse for all the airlines. Throughout the country we had a rougher winter in 2014 than we did back in 2013; thus it’s easier to compare all the airlines together within the same year than to compare an airline’s performance to its own performance the year prior.
    I applaud Delta overall but still think there’s plenty of room for improvement. I myself switched my loyalty from UA to DL the past year and have enjoyed the DL experience thus far.

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