Memphis International Airport Notes

June 2007


Northwest Improves Airline Quality Rating, Emerges from Bankruptcy

Despite being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy during 2006, Northwest Airlines improved its Airline Quality Rating (AQR) two places. The airline improved in all four categories measured for AQR: On-time Arrivals, Involuntary Denied Boardings, Mishandled Baggage and Customer Complaints. Northwest also emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 31.

Northwest was one of only two airlines which showed improvement among the 18 largest domestic carriers ranked in the annual study conducted by the University of Nebraska and Wichita State University. Northwest outranked the other big network carriers in customer service. The airline ranked fifth among all 18 carriers.

In 2006 Northwest's:

  • Customer complaints decreased from 0.94 per 100,000 passengers in 2005 to 0.88 per 100,000 passengers.
  • Mishandled Baggage decreased from 4.86 per 1,000 passengers in 2005 to 4.60.
  • Denied boardings rate decreased from 0.96 per 10,000 passengers in 2005 to 0.81.
  • On-Time Arrival performance increased from 75.0 percent in 2005 to 75.8 percent.

The annual AQR was developed in 1991. Using objective, performance-based (weighted) data, it provides consumers a means of monitoring comparative quality versus other studies that use subjective surveys.

Northwest is committed to providing the best service to its passengers. To further this commitment, Northwest has launched an initiative to improve luggage delivery times. The goal is to have a flight's first bag delivered to the claim area within 15 minutes of the flight docking at the gate. The new initiative will emphasize off-loading and delivering the Priority bags for Northwest Elite customers first.


Northwest Airlines


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