Poor airline service remains issue in '05

On April 4, researchers released the annual Airline Quality Rating Report, which found that service quality fell at most airlines in 2004.

On April 4, researchers released the annual Airline Quality Rating Report, which found that service quality fell at most airlines in 2004.

Many outlets jumped on the story, reporting that more travelers registered complaints than in 2003. And things could get worse. Dean Headley, professor at Wichita State University who co-authored the report, said, "The potential for performance decline over the new year is high." Sixteen airlines with at least 1% of the 630 million passengers who flew domestically in 2004 were ranked for the study.

Most frequent messages

1. Top three that performed well were discount airlines JetBlue, AirTran, and Southwest

2. Of all traditional or 'legacy' airlines, only United did well, ranking fourth

3. Overall, service got worse in 2004

4. Airlines have had to continue staff cuts, which causes worse service (due in part to 9/11)

5. Low-cost carriers have grown from a 5% market share to 25% in five years

Based on 31 articles from major US media outlets from April 3 to April 7.

Evaluation and analysis by Cymfony

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