May 08, 2007

Customer service rankings illustrate US Airways woes

US Airways hit a trifecta of terribleness in March, finishing last or near the bottom in major customer-service rankings because of its computer and storm troubles. The Tempe airline had the worst on-time performance and highest customer complaints of 20 airlines ranked. It was 16th in baggage handling, according to the monthly "Air Travel Consumer Report" from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

he statistics: on-time arrivals of 55.5 percent vs. an industry average of 73.3 percent; nearly 11 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers vs. an industry average 7.71; and 4.43 complaints per 100,000 passengers, nearly triple the industry average.

US Airways executives have repeatedly acknowledged major fallout from their early March switch to a single reservations system, which was later compounded by a storm that closed its Philadelphia hub.

They have outlined a series of steps, from hiring more workers to upgraded check-in kiosks, to fix the operation and keep its frequent fliers from fleeing.

By Dawn Gilbertson, The Arizona Republic

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