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JUST THE FACTS

Airline Complaints

December 15, 1996

Air fares have been going up--and so have service complaints. In October (the most recent statistics available), consumers filed a total of 615 complaints against the 10 largest U.S. airlines, up from 565 in September and 515 in October, 1995. Mishandled baggage rates also rose, but passenger bumpings decreased in the third quarter. The complaint rankings, from best to worst:

COMPLAINT RANKINGS--FROM BEST TO WORST

Complaints per 100,000 passengers Oct'96 rank*

1. Southwest

Oct. 1996: 0.16

Oct. 1995: 0.26

% change from 1995: -38%

*

2. Continental

Oct. 1996: 0.55

Oct. 1995: 0.42

% change from 1995: +31%

*

3. USAir

Oct. 1996: 0.58

Oct. 1995: 0.94

% change from 1995: -38%

*

4. Delta Oct. 1996: 0.58

Oct. 1995: 0.48

% change from 1995: +21%

*

5. United Oct. 1996: 0.68

Oct. 1995: 0.71

% change from 1995: -4%

*

6. American Oct. 1996: 0.96

Oct. 1995: 0.71

% change from 1995: +35%

*

7. TWA Oct. 1996: 0.98

Oct. 1995: 0.96

% change from 1995: +2%

*

8. Northwest Oct. 1996: 1.20

Oct. 1995: 0.79

% change from 1995: +52%

*

9. Alaska Oct. 1996: 1.26

Oct. 1995: 1.07

% change from 1995: +18%

*

10. America West Oct. 1996: 1.89

Oct. 1995: 0.77

% change from 1995: +145%

*

Average:

Oct. 1996: 0.74

Oct. 1995: 0.66

% change from 1995: +12%

*Latest data available. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

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