Report: More Delays, Customer Complaints for U.S. Airlines


It shouldn't come to many travelers' surprise that the performance of U.S. airlines worsened last year.

In an Airline Quality Rating report released early today, the overall industry performed worse in four main areas: baggage handling, consumer complaints, on-time arrivals and denial of boardings. The report had particularly bad news for Frontier and United Airlines, which had the most complaints in 2014. Alaska Airlines had the best record when it came to customer complaints.

Co-author Brent Bowen of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona said, "Delta has worked its way back to the top tier" after it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, but United Airlines "has not fully bounced back from its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines."

Both Southwest and American Airlines declined in all four areas tracked by the report.

Hawaiian Airlines posted the best on-time performance (91.9 percent) last year. Envoy Air, a regional carrier for American that flies as American Eagle, had the worst on-time record (68.8 percent).