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Comparing America's Big Airlines

Each year, the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University analyzes 19 objective criteria and assigns each of America's big nine carriers an "airline quality rating." Below are the results of the 1995 NIAR report and some of the factors that went into those ratings.

Airline Phone number Mean airline quality rating Average on time (percentage) Bags mishandled per 10,000 passengers Denied boardings per 10,000 passengers* Average age of fleet (years)
1. American 800-433-7300 0.225 .810% 48.2 0.4 8.77
2. Southwest 800-435-9792 0.211 .867% 42.1 3.8 8.02
3. United 800-241-6522 0.123 .815% 56.7 0.5 11.18
4. Delta 800-221-1212 -0.031 .804% 49.8 0.7 10.41
5. USAir 800-428-4322 -0.148 .790% 61.5 2.1 11.58
6. Northwest 800-225-2525 -0.210 .856% 60.9 0.6 17.56
7. America West 800-235-9292 -0.282 .804% 45.3 2.1 9.46
8. TWA 800-221-2000 -0.307 .800% 58.7 1.3 19.38
9. Continental 800-525-0280 -0.574 .777% 66.7 1.8 14.47
* Not factored into airline quality rating.
SOURCE: National Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita, Kan.; U.S. Department of Transportation.


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