2020 Airline Rankings

The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) is the most comprehensive study of performance and quality of the largest airlines in the United States. The rating is a multifactor examination of the airlines based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings. The Airline Quality Rating industry score for 2019 shows an industry that generally held steady in three of the four measured elements of the AQR. The decline in individual and industry scores is directly attributable to the changed metric used to establish the mishandled baggage ratio. Eight airlines (Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United) showed declines in AQR scores in 2019. Frontier had no change in AQR score from 2018 to 2019 even though their mishandled baggage rate was impacted by the new measurement along with all other airlines rated. American had the largest decline in their AQR score in 2019. The overall industry AQR score for 2019 is -1.46. Taking all 10 rated airlines together, the AQR score for the industry worsened from -0.66 in 2018 to -1.46 in 2019. This change is directly related to the implementation of a new measurement metric for mishandled baggage. Other AQR elements are still fully comparable across prior years. Industry AQR scores had improved each year for the previous four years (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). No improved performance was seen for 2019 in any of the four of the areas tracked.
The industry mishandled baggage rate is higher, primarily due to the change in measurement methods (2.43 per 1,000 enplaned passengers in 2018 to 5.57 per 1,000 checked bags in 2019).
Involuntary denied boardings by the industry moved from 0.14 per 10,000 passengers in 2018 to 0.19 per 10,000 passengers in 2019.
The consumer complaint rate across the industry increased slightly to 1.06 per 100,000 passengers in 2019 from 1.04 per 100,000 passengers in 2018.  Of the 9,547 complaints registered with the DOT regarding all U.S. domestic carriers, 74% were for flight problems, baggage problems, reservation, ticketing and boarding issues, or customer service problems. Lack of improvement in industry performance in all four areas tracked in the ratings is not a positive sign for consumers.
As an industry, the AQR criteria show that on-time arrival percentage was down slightly (79.4% in 2019 compared to 79.6% in 2018). Read the Airline Quality Rating 2020 Press Release.