Sometimes, the toughest part of planning a luxury yacht charter vacation is getting there. Unless you live within driving distance, for example, traveling from another state to enjoy a Florida yacht charter requires a flight on a major domestic air carrier. With airlines slashing in-flight services and amenities, and increasing ticket prices to battle higher fuel prices and rising operating cost, customer complaints seem to rise year after year.
So which airlines have the best record of performance?
AIRLINE QUALITY RATING REPORT
According to the just-released 2013 Airline Quality Rating report,Virgin America is the highest-quality major airline in the United States. The lowest-rated? United Airlines.The Airline Quality Rating report is a statistical report of major airline operations in the United States. It’s prepared Dr. Dean Headley, a professor at Wichita State University, and Dr. Brent Bowen, a professor at Purdue University. The study focuses on four criteria: on-time arrivals, denied boardings, misplaced/lost baggage, and customer complaints.
Virgin America posts strong numbers in most of the AQR’s criteria, with Jet Blue, AirTran Airways, Delta Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines rounding out the top five.
Here’s good news for luxury mega yacht charter customers, flying commercial versus private this season – Industry-wide, domestic airlines actually IMPROVED their performance in two of the four analyzed categories from 2012 to 2013. On-time arrivals increased to 81.8% from 80%, and mishandled bags fell to 3.07 from 3.35.
Unfortunately, the number of denied boardings rose to 0.97 per 1,000 passengers from 0.78, and customer complaints climbed to 1.43 from 1.19 per 1,000 passengers.
The report’s authors believe industry belt-tightening resulted in more altered flight schedules and confusion among airline employees, causing overbooked flights and upset passengers.