Airline Quality Rating 2004

Brent D. Bowen, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Dean E. Headley, Wichita State University


The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was developed and first announced in early 1991 as an objective method of comparing airline quality on combined multiple performance criteria. This current report, the Airline Quality Rating 2004, reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores for 2003. AQR scores for the calendar year 2003 are based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers.

The Airline Quality Rating 2004 is a summary of month-by-month quality ratings for U.S. airlines that have at least 1% of domestic passenger volume during 2003. Using the Airline Quality Rating system of weighted averages and monthly performance data in the areas of on-time arrivals, involuntary denied boardings, mishandled baggage, and a combination of 12 customer complaint categories, airlines’ comparative performance for the calendar year of 2003 is reported. This research monograph contains a brief summary of the AQR methodology, detailed data and charts that track comparative quality for domestic airline operations for the 12-month period of 2003, and industry results. Also, comparative Airline Quality Rating data for 2002 are included, where available, to provide historical perspective regarding performance quality in the industry.