Daytona Beach, FL - A new report released this morning (April 8th) shows those who take to the sky are pretty happy with Delta Air Lines and less so with American Airlines.
One of the main anchors at Daytona Beach International Airport, Delta showed improvement across all categories this year in the 29th annual Airline Quality Rating, a joint effort between Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University.
ERAU Professor Dr. Brent Bowen says the AQR is based on data gathered from last year and focuses on four key categories: involuntary denied boardings, mishandled bags, customer complaints and on-time performance.
"Delta came in number one this year because of improvement across the board," Bowen added. "Last year, they were at number two, virtually tied with Alaska [Airlines]."
Delta was the only airline to improve in all four categories, per Bowen.
Alaska - which recently completed a merger with Virgin - dropped all the way to number four in 2019, with JetBlue - who left DBIA earlier this year - and Southwest taking the second and third spots, respectively.
American - the other main carrier at DBIA - keeps sliding down in the annual report. They finished eighth, one spot from the bottom, with only Frontier finishing worse.
"American's been in a decline," Bowen noted. "It's rather telling this year that, for the first time, one of the airlines that [have] routinely been at the bottom [Spirit] came in one slot higher than American."
American came in ninth the year before, but that report measured 12 total carriers. The carrier's score in 2018 was worse than in 2017.
Hawaiian came in fourth and United fifth in the 2019 AQR, while Spirit and Sunwing - the other airlines flying out of Daytona Beach - were not included in the report.
The report showed across-the-board improvement for the airline industry in involuntary denied boardings, mishandled bags and customer complaints. In fact, it was the best showing for all three categories since the AQR started in 1991.
On-time performance - the category given the heaviest weight - did drop in 2018.