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A closer look at the latest DOT airline scores
"Airlines improve" has been the common headline response to this month's "Air Travel Consumer Report," and, in aggregate, that's true. Most of the latest composite and average scores (some for the first half, some for the second quarter, and some for June of 2012) were at historic highs, with the somewhat contradictory result that complaints were also high. The key measures reflect how well the domestic airlines did against what they said they would do: arriving on time, canceling as few flights as possible, delivering checked baggage, and honoring reservations, and so far they generally did well in 2012. But in keeping with the old adage that "a statistician is someone who drowns wading in a river that averages three feet deep," it's useful to take a closer look at the data. Detailed data cover 16 lines in all: the 15 lines that carry 1 percent or more of total passengers plus Mesa Airlines.
By Ed Perkins, Tribune Media Services
August 15, 2012