Longitudinal comparisons of perceptions are rarely available over rapid industrial change, and few industries have changed to the degree of airline travel in the post-9/11 decade. This study presents comparative analysis of airline consumer perceptions following September 11th 2001 to findings from a Congressperson-initiated survey of 3,500 travelers ending 2011.

The National Airline Quality Rating (AQR), released annually each April at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and viewed each year by more than 75 million people both nationally and internationally, debuted in the national media as an innovative, objective method of comparing airline quality on combined multiple performance criteria in 1991. This decadal study analyzes changes in consumer perceptions as the airline industry underwent fundamental shifts, and in addition assesses the relationship between consumer perceptions as reported by survey respondents over the last decade and the expert-derived AQR formula developed by Bowen and Headley.


airline quality rating (AQR), passenger perceptions

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