Airline Quality Report Not the Whole Story

The numbers suggest customer service by the nation's commercial air carriers is getting better. That's true ... sort of.

Charlie Leocha, with the Consumer Travel Alliance, says the industry is cooking the books, take for instance the number of travelers "denied boarding."

“Every time they bargain with someone, (saying) we're overbooked and will you take $800 in airline scrip and get on another flight later on,” Leocha explains, “that doesn't count as denied boarding.”

He says commercial jets are flying full all the time, and passengers are getting bumped much more often than in the past. Although lost baggage numbers are also improving, that’s misleading, too.

“That's only because half as many people check bags these days, as they used to,” he says, “so it's a false statistic.”

Alaska Airlines was ranked number-one for its performance, and Leocha calls it an excellent airline.

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