Indiana News

Report: Bigger Isn't Better When It Comes to Airlines


A Purdue University report on airline quality says bigger is definitely not better. Purdue Aviation Expert Brent Bowen released the university's 23rd airline quality ranking Monday.

Virgin America comes out at the very top of the list.  Bowen says Virgin logged the fewest customer complaints. However, Bowen says all of the big air carriers got plenty of customer complaints that range from baggage issues to delayed or canceled flights.  They include: American, U.S. Airways, United and Continental.  Bowen says the smaller, low cost carriers like Southwest, Frontier and AirTran are move nimble and efficient.

Bowen says the mergers aren't helping the big airlines. "One fact we can tell you is when you take two mediocre airlines and put them together, all you get is one worse airline," he said. "It's all about low customer complaints and that's one of the best areas of them all but it's also across the board in on time performance, baggage handling and and denied boarding."


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