Airline Quality

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Travelers are increasingly unhappy with airlines, ranking lost luggage among their biggest complaints. That's according to an annual survey by university researchers that rates carriers' quality.

Passenger complaints increased 17 percent last year over 2004. The rate of mishandled baggage jumped from from four-point-83 per one-thousand passengers to six-point-06 in 2005.

Study co-author Dean Headley at Wichita State University says passengers are now returning to pre-Nine-Eleven levels, but there are 200-thousand fewer airline employees to serve them.

Among the study's conclusions: Southwest Airlines had the lowest rate of complaints; U-S Airways had the highest. ATA had the highest rate of denied boardings; JetBlue had the lowest. AirTran had the best baggage handling rate; Atlantic Southeast had the worst.