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US Air Travellers Suffering More Problems

Anybody who has used airplanes to travel knows the difficulties that can arise with this mode of transportation; lost luggage, delays and unpleasant customer service. All airlines have their problems, but some are better at keeping things running relatively smoothly than others. A report, just out, looks at the delays American passengers are suffering. The yearly Airline Quality Rating report for 2006 has been released today.

According to the report, 2006 showed an increase in the amount of lost luggage, delayed flights and people getting bumped off their flights. However, even with the increase from 2005 to 2006 there is something positive about the recent report. In 2005 the number of complaints reached the lowest number to date and even though there is an increase it isn’t a huge amount indicating that things are a bit more under control than prior to 2005.

The best airlines for the least passenger troubles include the previous three years number one slot holder and a new comer. The airline that has been rated as the best for the past three years, Jet Blue has had its title taken away by a new comer to the list, Hawaiian. Jet Blue now takes second place. The third best airline for the least amount of problems is Air Tran. The list contained 18 different airlines. The three airlines that finished at the bottom of the list, making them the worst are; Atlantic Southeast, American Eagle and COMAIR.

According to a spokesman, David Castelveter, for the airline industry most of the flight delays for due to reasons beyond their control such as weather. There is also an increase and expected future increase of the number of flights. This increase will strain the existing air traffic control systems causing more delays. Castelveter told the Associated Press, “We’re going to see more delays and those delays translate to cancellations, mishandled bags and unhappy passengers. Its not a pretty picture.”

The report was paid for by the Aviation Institute and carried out at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and at Wichita State University.

The findings of the report will interest air travel users and users of theĀ oxo stainless steel liquiseal travel mug, 18 oz.

According to the report the best airline for being on time is Hawaiian Airlines, with 93.9 percent of its flights being on time. In second for time keeping came Frontier Airlines at 80.7 percent and third was Southwest at 80.2 percent. The worst airline on the 18 airline list for time was Atlantic Southeast Airlines at only 66 percent.

Hawaiian took the top spot again in the baggage category. In 2006 the combined figures of damaged, lost or stolen bags equalled 6.50 bags per 1,000 passengers. Hawaiian had the least amount of baggage problems. The worst airline for baggage problems according to the report is Atlantic Southeast.

The number of bags involved in airline travel problems will not please customer who are now starting to be asked to pay extra for their baggage. The first airline to begin charging its passenger fees for baggage is Spirit Airlines. Spirit will charge customers $5 dollars for checked bags for tickets booked online and $10 dollars for passengers who do not book their tickets online. Customers will not be happy about this new trend. Most customers feel that the already high cost of the plane ticket should include checked baggage.

Of all of the complaints in 2006 regarding airlines, over 50 percent had to do with baggage or flight problems.

The number of passengers getting bumped off flights due to over booking increased from .88 in 2005 to 1.01 in 2006 per 10,000 passengers. The airline with the best record in the bumped passenger category in 2006 is Jet Blue. The airline that bumped the most passengers in 2006 is Atlantic Southeast.

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