Late flights and lost bags, to say nothing of higher fares, are making air travelers grumpy, an annual survey of airline quality says.
The industry posted declines last year in every area of the Airline Quality Rating, amid rising fuel prices, safety problems and bankruptcy filings that shut down three carriers last week alone.
The biggest change was in the rate of consumer complaints, up 60 percent overall. The rate more than doubled at US Airways and Comair, and rose for 15 of the 16 airlines included in the study. The exception was Mesa Airlines.
On-time arrivals dropped for the fifth straight year, with more than one-quarter of all flights late, according to the survey. The rates of passengers bumped from overbooked flights and bags lost, stolen or damaged also jumped in 2007.