Report: Airline customer service improving

FRESNO, Calif.

A college professor, who has co-authored an annual report on airline performance, says the overall experience is better than it was five years ago when companies suffered a meltdown of epic proportions.

The study focused on things like lost bags, delayed flights, lousy service, and bumpings from full planes. In those categories, industry performance was up slightly in 2011 compared to 2010.

But something that's not in the report and what people are more interested in is higher ticket prices. Fewer flights and higher fuel costs have resulted in increased ticket fares. Especially when you talk about small to medium cities like Fresno -- you'll likely pay a lot more because airliners are cutting back service to these areas.

The professor behind this study is from Wichita, Kansas -- which is comparable to Fresno. He says a round-trip ticket he paid $275-dollars for on 2010 will now probably cost him $360.

American Eagle, which is a part of American Airlines, showed strong improvements in on-time arrival times. United Airlines had the highest consumer complaint rate.

The bottom line: We're paying more to fly, but at the very least it seems these companies are offering services, that in theory, match the price.

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