Delta flies high after the release of 29. Air Quality Quality Results (AQR).
The ranking, determined by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University, which make up the AQR itself, is released as part of an annual report of the country's largest operators.
The report focuses primarily on performance in operation, luggage space, Number of passengers denied independent boarding and consumer satisfaction.
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This year, AQR has awarded the top spot to Delta Air Lines, citing a slight increase in on-time percentages and a decline in denied boarding number and passenger inventory through 201
AQR noted that six of the nine airlines that studied had improved their scores (The LTA, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United, specifically) compared to 2017, while three (Alaska, American and Frontier) had the biggest decline in their points, with Frontier's score falling the most. Frontier also found himself last, a place previously held by Spirit Airlines in the latest report.
The report notes that Frontier's performance in three of the four areas studied was exacerbated since 2017, except for only his degree of ill-treatment of luggage, which improved.
And, as mentioned by USA Today, Alaska Airlines ranking probably falls due to a merger with Virgin America in April 2018. (Virgin America was not included in this year's AQR, but the report says Virgin's score last April 2018 was combined with Alaska to determine Alaska's overall assessment for 2018.)
In general, AQR notes that the overall 2018 points are best seen in the ranking's history, as less luggage was abused in 2018 (2.43 bags per 10,000 passengers in compared to 2.46 in 2017) and refused boardings dropped (from 0.341 passengers for every 10,000 to just 0.14). Complaints also dropped from 1.35 per 100,0000 passengers to just 1.04.
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AQR's latest rankings are below. The complete report can be found on Embry-Riddle's official website.