Delta, JetBlue rank at top of Airline Quality Rating


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If you’re flying anytime soon, a new report might affect which airline you take.

The 2019 Airline Quality Rating was released early this morning. Delta and JetBlue secured the top spots this year.

“Over the last several years, Delta has always been near the top of the list. They are a very consistent performer,” said Dean Headley, the report’s co-author and former Wichita State professor.

Here are the 2019 airline rankings:

  1. Delta Airlines
  2. JetBlue
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. Alaska Airlines
  5. Hawaiian Airlines
  6. United Airlines
  7. Spirit Airlines
  8. American Airlines
  9. Frontier Airlines

Headley is the co-author of the report, along with Dr. Brent Bowen from Embry-Riddle University.

Headley said it’s the only rating system that takes data and turns them into a formula to compare each airline. The data is information the airlines are required to report to the US Department of Transportation.

“If you don’t hold the airlines up to public scrutiny, they will get away with whatever they can,” Headley said.

The study looks at baggage handling, involuntary denied boardings, consumer complaints and on-time performance.

The report shows major airlines improved their overall performance compared to 2017.

Baggage handling improved — decreasing from 2.46 per 1,000 passengers in 2017 to 2.43 per 1,000 passengers in 2018.

Involuntary denied boardings, or “bumpings,” improved going down by almost 50 percent.

Consumer complaints declined too.

However, on-time performance slipped by only half-a-percent.

“On-time performance has fluctuated over the last several years,” Headley said. “It stays around 80 percent.” 

How can looking at the report help travelers make a decision?

Headley said the report allows customers to match up their own experiences and perceptions with how the airline is doing overall.

“We think that we’ve had some impact. The airlines do pay attention,” said Headley. “We hope the public uses it in a way to inform their judgements.” 

Visit for the full report. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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