news releases

2005.03.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

National Airline Quality Rating to be announced April 4

What: 15th annual national Airline Quality Rating news conference

When: 9:30 a.m. EDT Monday, April 4

Where: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

Phone: (316) 978-3045  (Wichita State University Office of University Communications) or (402) 554-3502 (University of Nebraska at Omaha University Affairs)

Omaha - The results of the 15th annual national Airline Quality Rating (AQR), the most comprehensive study of the performance and quality of the 16 largest airlines in the United States, will be announced at 9:30 a.m. EDT Monday, April 4, at a news conference in Washington, D.C. With the inclusion of two new airlines and the mix of low fare and legacy carriers, the AQR will help sort out the difference in airline performance.

The rating is conducted annually by researchers at the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University (WSU) and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute. The AQR is a cooperative project funded as part of faculty research initiatives at WSU and UNO.

The rating is a multifactor look at the overall performance quality of the airlines based on elements such as on-time, denied boardings, mishandled baggage and customer complaints. It is the only rating to include multiple criteria by which airline performance is measured in a quantitative and unbiased manner.

The new findings cover the 2004 calendar year. The following airlines, listed in alphabetical order, are rated: AirTran, Alaska, America West, American, American Eagle, ATA, Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Northwest, SkyWest, Southwest, United and US Airways.

Jet Blue earned top honors in last year's AQR.

The researchers also will address the following issues:

— impact of economic conditions on airline services;

— overall industry performance in 2004;

— trends in the industry as we return to pre-9/11 airline passenger volume; and

— potential short-term and long-term challenges for the airline industry.

Media Notes:

For information about the AQR, contact Dean Headley at WSU, (316) 978-3367, or Brent Bowen at UNO, (402) 554-3424.

Media unable to attend the news conference in Washington, D.C. may receive a copy of the AQR news release on the day of the news conference (April 4) by contacting either of the following:

— Amy Geiszler-Jones at WSU, by phone (316) 978-3409, by fax (316) 978-3776, or by e-mail amy.geiszler-jones@wichita.edu.

— Beverly Newsam at UNO, by phone (402) 554-2358, by fax (402) 554-3541, or by e-mail bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu.

News releases will be mailed by first-class post Saturday, April 2. An electronic version of the news release and commentary will be available after 10:30 a.m. (EDT) April 4 at the following address: http://www.wichita.edu/aqr2004.

An electronic version of the full report will be available after 10:30 a.m. (EDT) April 4 at the following address: http://ai.unomaha.edu.

Taped comments by Dean Headley will be available via the WSU Radio Newsline at (316) 978-3682 or http://www.wichita.edu/newsline beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT) Monday, April 4. Brent Bowen will have comments available on the UNO Radio News Line beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT) Monday, April 4, at http://www.unomaha.edu/news/radionewsline.

Headley and Bowen will be available for interviews by telephone at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., following the news conference Monday afternoon and evening. Call (202) 628-9100 and ask for the room of Dean Headley. Bowen also will be available for interviews via telephone following the news conference Monday afternoon and evening. Call (402) 554-3424.

Contact:

Joe Kleinsasser, WSU director of news and media relations, (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu, or Tim Kaldahl, UNO assistant director of media relations, (402) 554-3502.

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