DL bumps AS from AQR #1

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Old Apr 8, 19, 3:01 pm
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DL bumps AS from AQR #1

https://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/...e-13750859.php

It seems Alaska Airlines' multi-year reign as the best airline in the United States has come to an end -- for now.

The 2019 Airline Quality Ranking, published Monday, shows Seattle-based Alaska Airlines dropped from first place in 2017 and 2018 to fourth place in 2019. Delta Airlines, second in 2018, took the top spot, followed by JetBlue and Southwest airlines.
This seems about right:

Alaska did see a reduction the number of times passengers with confirmed reservations were denied boarding -- involuntary denied boardings, in industry terms -- from 0.32 to 0.23 per 10,000 passengers, but that was the only improvement for the airline compared to the previous year. More flights were delayed and considerably more bags were mishandled. The airline received about the same number of complaints both years.

The merger between Virgin America and Alaska Airlines also concluded in April 2018, meaning Alaska's score reflects both airlines' scores for the year. It's hard to say how much the merger directly impacted Alaska's ranking, but in 2018's AQR, Virgin ranked seventh. In 2017, Virgin took third place.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 5:06 pm
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While flying DL as a premium passenger, overall, has been a better experience than AS, the metrics of what I've experienced wouldn't have played into the results. You always have to look at what factors are evaluated, at what weight, to see if these results have any material impact on your experience. As an elite flyer, we're less likely to be kicked off a plane, more likely to be handled better in IRROPS, and less likely to have a bag lost (because we're less likely to check one )
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Old Apr 8, 19, 5:09 pm
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While AS improved in IDB, it should be noted that the entire industry improved in that category, even NK & WN. Only F9 gets called out in the report for doing worse (from my quick scan) in IDB.
I'm guessing that's due to overall industry changes of how IDBs are handled with higher and higher incentives to VDB after UA gave David Dao a beat-down in April 2017.

So not really anything AS is doing out of the norm.

I guess it's not unexpected to see AS drop with the growing pains of the merger which certainly led to complaints, but I hope the airline doesn't dismiss it as an unavoidable cost of the expansion.
Hopefully they're taking it seriously and asking themselves how they get back to #1
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Old Apr 8, 19, 5:20 pm
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I wasn't really sure where to comment about this observation and didn't care enough to make my own thread about it, so I guess this is as good a place as any.

I know LAX-SJC is a really short flight, but I did LAX-SJC on Southwest and they manage to get in a round of drink service and to hand out pretzels. Then I was on SJC-LAX on the way back and all they got in was handing out water. Not a huge deal for such a short flight, but it was hard not to notice after Southwest got a round of service in on the way up.

(And yes, this was Alaska proper on one of the VX Airbus planes, not one of the regional carriers on an E75.)
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Old Apr 8, 19, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
While flying DL as a premium passenger, overall, has been a better experience than AS, the metrics of what I've experienced wouldn't have played into the results. You always have to look at what factors are evaluated, at what weight, to see if these results have any material impact on your experience. As an elite flyer, we're less likely to be kicked off a plane, more likely to be handled better in IRROPS, and less likely to have a bag lost (because we're less likely to check one )
I check bags all the time. Even if it's a carry on I'll often check it.

Once in my life (30+ years ago) my bags managed to make a trip to Australia somewhere on the way back from Europe. Other than that, I've never once had my bags not get to my destination with me.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Interesting how well JetBlue performs in this survey, despite ranking near the bottom for on-time performance. For example, in this year's WSJ Middle Seat survey, JetBlue tied with United to rank 5th out of 8 carriers. Different methodology. The WSJ report looks at the same factors as the AQR, but in addition also looks at the rate of extreme delays, the rate of 2hr+ tarmac delays, the rate of cancellations. Alaska did better in the WSJ, ranking #2. This is probably because Alaska does very respectably in every delay category, but slipped in mishandled baggage from last year. Both surveys ranked Delta #1, American second-to-last and Frontier last. Not saying one survey or the other is better; the rankings just depends on which criteria you include and how you weight those criteria. In the AQR, on-time performance doesn't play a huge role in determining the score of the carrier, unless a carrier does truly horribly. The input for on-time arrivals ranges from about .7 to .85, whereas for mishandled bags and customer complaints, there is a much broader range of performance between carriers.

Last edited by sltlyamusd; Apr 8, 19 at 11:09 pm
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Old Apr 9, 19, 12:15 am
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JetBlue does well in customer satisfaction because they don't nickel and dime their customers. Free snacks and free WiFi for everyone. That goes a long way.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post
Interesting how well JetBlue performs in this survey, despite ranking near the bottom for on-time performance.
The Airline Quality Rating team discloses its formula (it's not subjective - it's based entirely on DOT data) and the coefficients on each variable. See Table 1 on PDF page 8: https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcon...9&context=aqrr

JetBlue's on-time performance is lousy, lousy, lousy. (Before you rationalize and say 'But they hub at JFK and BOS,' recognize that the DOT publishes on-time by carrier at major airports, so carrier-to-carrier comparisons are possible.) But B6's IDB and baggage handling are very good. Their rate of consumer complaints is about average.

The formula uses rate of customer complaints, not a separate survey of customer satisfaction.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
JetBlue's on-time performance is lousy, lousy, lousy. (Before you rationalize and say 'But they hub at JFK and BOS,' recognize that the DOT publishes on-time by carrier at major airports, so carrier-to-carrier comparisons are possible.)
I still don't think that that's a fair comparison. Having a hub at an airport with frequent delays will mess up your entire network, including routes that don't touch one of those hubs. If a plane takes a 2 hr delay early in the day, the rest of the routes that the plane is flying that day will be delayed. I'm sure we have all experienced delays waiting for a plane to come in from an airport that has nothing to do with our travel plans.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I still don't think that that's a fair comparison. Having a hub at an airport with frequent delays will mess up your entire network, including routes that don't touch one of those hubs. If a plane takes a 2 hr delay early in the day, the rest of the routes that the plane is flying that day will be delayed. I'm sure we have all experienced delays waiting for a plane to come in from an airport that has nothing to do with our travel plans.
Exactly as people should recognize from AS's on time performance this winter when they had a lot more problems due to weather in their SEA/SFO focus cities which impacted their entire network. It is much easier to run an airline when weather and congestion are not issues in the airline's primary city/cities.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I check bags all the time. Even if it's a carry on I'll often check it.

Once in my life (30+ years ago) my bags managed to make a trip to Australia somewhere on the way back from Europe. Other than that, I've never once had my bags not get to my destination with me.
My experience with checked luggage couldn't be more opposite. I rarely check, and only if I have to, due to liquids, or tools, firearms, etc.

United lost checked shotgun for 36 days, before finally finding it and returning it. SLC-LAX connecting in SFO

Virgin Atlantic delayed luggage one day on trip to South Africa, causing lost day of safari. LAX-JNB connecting in LHR

Alaska lost a bag on a direct flight from IAD to SEA, never recovered; so far one year.

Delta lost snorkel equipment for 3 days on 5 day drip to Hawaii. LAX-KOA direct

Air France delayed luggage 1 day, CDG-LAX direct.

Delta delayed luggage 1 day, ATL-LAX direct

Due to my experiences I am extremely reluctant to check luggage.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by transportbiz View Post
My experience with checked luggage couldn't be more opposite. I rarely check, and only if I have to, due to liquids, or tools, firearms, etc.

United lost checked shotgun for 36 days, before finally finding it and returning it. SLC-LAX connecting in SFO

Virgin Atlantic delayed luggage one day on trip to South Africa, causing lost day of safari. LAX-JNB connecting in LHR

Alaska lost a bag on a direct flight from IAD to SEA, never recovered; so far one year.

Delta lost snorkel equipment for 3 days on 5 day drip to Hawaii. LAX-KOA direct

Air France delayed luggage 1 day, CDG-LAX direct.

Delta delayed luggage 1 day, ATL-LAX direct

Due to my experiences I am extremely reluctant to check luggage.
That is some bad luck.

I have a friend who repeatedly got his bag lost by VX on SFO-LAS. They kept sending them to LAX instead of LAS. Mine never had that problem.
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