Apr 7th, 2014 - National News
DALLAS (AP) — Airlines are falling behind schedule more often and mishandling more bags, but customers aren't making a federal case out of it.
Academics who study the airline industry say that consumer complaints to the government dropped 15 percent last year after spiking in 2012.
The researchers will detail their conclusions in a report Monday. Among their findings:
— United Airlines climbed out of last place in the rate of customer complaints.
— American Airlines did better at staying on schedule last year than it did in 2012, when it accused pilots of a work slowdown.
— Most of the worst grades — from late flights and lost bags to bumping passengers off planes — were earned by smaller regional airlines.
Researchers at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University compiled the report on airline quality from figures that the 15 largest airlines must report each month to the U.S. Department of Transportation. They graded the airlines on four categories:
ON-TIME PERFORMANCE: Airlines operated 78.4 percent of their flights on time in 2013, down from 81.8 percent in 2012. Best: Hawaiian Airlines; worst: American Eagle.
BAG HANDLING: The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 5 percent. Best: Virgin America; worst: American Eagle.
BUMPING: The rate of bumping passengers from flights fell 8 percent. Best: JetBlue Airways; worst: SkyWest.
COMPLAINTS: Consumer complaints to the government in 2013 dropped 15 percent from 2012 after rising 20 percent the year before. Best: Southwest Airlines; worst: Frontier.
One of the report's authors, Wichita State business professor Dean Headley, credited the drop in complaints partly to United Airlines. The company suffered several computer-network outages and grounded hundreds of flights in 2012 when it combined the United and Continental computer networks after a merger, but "got their act together" in 2013, he said.
Headley said the drop in complaints might also reflect "a certain amount of resignation" that "it's never wonderful for airline passengers."
No matter how much people gripe about airlines when they're among friends, very few of the millions of fliers ever bother to file a complaint with the government. The Department of Transportation, or DOT, received 9,684 complaints last year after getting 11,447 in 2012.
Chris Lopinto, CEO of ExpertFlyer.com and not involved in the academic report, said he believes that most consumers complain directly to the airlines instead.
May 30th, 2014 - Local News
(Mlive)-- Police believe a woman was driving while intoxicated when she crashed into a Walgreens Pharmacy building Thursday night near 68th Street SW and South Division Avenue.
Kent County sheriff'...
May 29th, 2014 - Local News
Looking for a job?
A couple more job fairs are scheduled for this week.
Wednesday the Walmart in Kentwood held a job fair to fill positions for a new store that is coming to Wyoming on 54th Street. ...
May 30th, 2014 - State News
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan secretary of state's office is expanding its most popular online services to select Triple A branches.
The ExpressSOS DOT com will be accessible through...
May 29th, 2014 - State News
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Labor and community organizers have submitted about 320,000 petition signatures calling for a Michigan ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.
May 30th, 2014 - National News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis is in the grip of one of its most violent years on record.
The Indiana capital has already recorded 60 homicides and is on pace to have its deadliest year in eigh...
May 29th, 2014 - National News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is holding a White House Summit today to draw attention to young athletes and concussions.
Among those attending will be representatives of professional s...