Airline performance survey forecasts holiday hassles

November 10, 2008 9:38:48 AM PST
A new survey of the airline industry may offer hope of fewer hassles in the future, but its authors say things don't look good for the coming holiday season.The Airline Quality Rating looks at the performance of the nation's 17 largest airlines. It finds that airline quality has plunged during the Thanksgiving to New Year period over the last three years, with things bottoming out in December.

American Airlines was found to have the worst on-time performance, while American Eagle had the most mishandled baggage. United and Atlantic Southeast also showed up on the "worst" lists, with United getting the most customer complaints.

Those planning a trip to Hawaii might get a bonus. The survey finds Hawaiian Airlines has the best on-time performance. JetBlue, AirTran and Southwest also scored in the "best" categories.

While the survey's authors say there are preliminary signs that airline performance may be improving, they note that may result from fewer people actually flying.