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Airline Quality Formula
Tilak Ramaprakash
• There are many definitions one can use to define quality. None are absolute and several have their own
variations. I chose what I felt was the most succinct definition of airline quality:
•
• Meeting or exceeding the passenger’s expectations.
• In determining the quality of an airline, there are several factors that can be taken into consideration. One
factor that I personally feel passengers take into account is on-time performance (i.e. delays). Since
passengers seem to remember departures that are delayed more frequently than the arrivals, and
sometimes arrival delays can be made up in flight and eradicated during initial connections at hubs, I used
departure delays (instead of arrival delays) as one of my criteria in determining OTP.
• Another criterion I used was mishandled (i.e. “lost”) baggage. This is an aspect that passengers always
remember and find (negatively) noteworthy.
•
• The final criterion I used was customer service. This is from both the ground staff as well as the flight crews.
Although this could be considered subjective, as different cultures may have different expectations of service, I
recognize it as an important aspect of an airline’s quality.
• There are other factors that one may consider but I did not use those for different reasons. For example, I
believe the age of an aircraft fleet to be subjective. An aircraft being “too old” for some, may not be so for
others. Seat pitch and amenities such as lounges and curbside check-in are also examples that can affect the
perception of an airline’s quality. However they are not as significant as the three that I have chosen. There
are also factors that “insiders” may know but the general traveling public may not—at least not without having
to do some research—such as the status of the airline with the DOT and FAA (i.e. violations, fines, etc.).
• I have assigned weights to my three chosen criteria based on what I felt were of significance to the average
U.S. passenger when determining an airline’s quality.
•
• Customer Service: 45%
• Lost baggage: 30%
• On-time performance: 25%
• The reasoning I used in weighting customer service as the highest is because if a flight is delayed or baggage
is lost, good customer service can sometimes even compensate for those other inconveniences. Examples of
good customer service can mean personalized follow up after mishandled baggage is later delivered to the
passenger’s home or hotel. Or it can mean rerouting a passenger on a more convenient flight due to a
delayed flight. But often enough it means how well the customer is treated throughout the whole travel
process on that airline from ticket purchase to baggage claim.
• Lost baggage and on-time performance carried close weighting percentages. However, I gave lost baggage
5% more importance on the scale because, although OTP is important, even a delayed departure can be
overshadowed by one’s baggage not arriving at the destination.
•
• Therefore, the formula used was
•
• Airline Quality = 45 (Customer Service) + 30 (Lost baggage) + 25 (On-time performance)
• 100
•
• or
•
• AQ = 45 (CS) + 30 (LB) + 25 (OTP)
• 100
• Based on average data taken for January 2014, the following are results by rank of the top 10 US airlines on a scale of 1 to 100
rounded to the nearest whole:
•
•
• Virgin America 93
• Jet Blue 90
• Hawaiian Airlines 89
• Delta Airlines 87
• Alaska Airlines 83
• US Airways 80
• Southwest Airlines 79
• American Airlines 74
• Frontier Airlines 69
• United Airlines 62
• It should be noted that this data was taken for the one month of January 2014. Monthly and seasonal
variables such as load factors, weather, etc. can and will invariably influence the results. The same formula
can be applied on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis using available data.

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Airline Quality Formula.pptx

  • 2. • There are many definitions one can use to define quality. None are absolute and several have their own variations. I chose what I felt was the most succinct definition of airline quality: • • Meeting or exceeding the passenger’s expectations.
  • 3. • In determining the quality of an airline, there are several factors that can be taken into consideration. One factor that I personally feel passengers take into account is on-time performance (i.e. delays). Since passengers seem to remember departures that are delayed more frequently than the arrivals, and sometimes arrival delays can be made up in flight and eradicated during initial connections at hubs, I used departure delays (instead of arrival delays) as one of my criteria in determining OTP.
  • 4. • Another criterion I used was mishandled (i.e. “lost”) baggage. This is an aspect that passengers always remember and find (negatively) noteworthy. • • The final criterion I used was customer service. This is from both the ground staff as well as the flight crews. Although this could be considered subjective, as different cultures may have different expectations of service, I recognize it as an important aspect of an airline’s quality.
  • 5. • There are other factors that one may consider but I did not use those for different reasons. For example, I believe the age of an aircraft fleet to be subjective. An aircraft being “too old” for some, may not be so for others. Seat pitch and amenities such as lounges and curbside check-in are also examples that can affect the perception of an airline’s quality. However they are not as significant as the three that I have chosen. There are also factors that “insiders” may know but the general traveling public may not—at least not without having to do some research—such as the status of the airline with the DOT and FAA (i.e. violations, fines, etc.).
  • 6. • I have assigned weights to my three chosen criteria based on what I felt were of significance to the average U.S. passenger when determining an airline’s quality. • • Customer Service: 45% • Lost baggage: 30% • On-time performance: 25%
  • 7. • The reasoning I used in weighting customer service as the highest is because if a flight is delayed or baggage is lost, good customer service can sometimes even compensate for those other inconveniences. Examples of good customer service can mean personalized follow up after mishandled baggage is later delivered to the passenger’s home or hotel. Or it can mean rerouting a passenger on a more convenient flight due to a delayed flight. But often enough it means how well the customer is treated throughout the whole travel process on that airline from ticket purchase to baggage claim.
  • 8. • Lost baggage and on-time performance carried close weighting percentages. However, I gave lost baggage 5% more importance on the scale because, although OTP is important, even a delayed departure can be overshadowed by one’s baggage not arriving at the destination. • • Therefore, the formula used was • • Airline Quality = 45 (Customer Service) + 30 (Lost baggage) + 25 (On-time performance) • 100 • • or • • AQ = 45 (CS) + 30 (LB) + 25 (OTP) • 100
  • 9. • Based on average data taken for January 2014, the following are results by rank of the top 10 US airlines on a scale of 1 to 100 rounded to the nearest whole: • • • Virgin America 93 • Jet Blue 90 • Hawaiian Airlines 89 • Delta Airlines 87 • Alaska Airlines 83 • US Airways 80 • Southwest Airlines 79 • American Airlines 74 • Frontier Airlines 69 • United Airlines 62
  • 10. • It should be noted that this data was taken for the one month of January 2014. Monthly and seasonal variables such as load factors, weather, etc. can and will invariably influence the results. The same formula can be applied on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis using available data.