Airline Passengers Happier in 2009

By: Assoc. Press
By: Assoc. Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Passengers complained less about airlines last year, but there were also fewer people flying than in previous years.

Research sponsored by Purdue University, in Indiana, and by Wichita State University, in Kansas shows planes were more likely to land on time and bags less likely to get lost. The improvement came as cash-strapped airlines reduced flight schedules and charged for everything from bags and pillows to prime spots in boarding lines. The findings are based on an analysis of government statistics.

One cloud in the otherwise friendly skies was a slight increase in denied boardings, mostly bumpings due to overbooking. An overall ranking of the 18 airlines based on their combined performance in four categories -- on-time arrivals, mishandled baggage, denied boardings, complaints -- is being released Monday.

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