CONSUMER REPORT -- The annual airline quality ratings are out tonight. They show customer service is in a nose dive. The report confirms what many passengers already believe -- the skies are increasingly un-friendly. The annual airline quality ratings study shows customer satisfaction at its lowest since 2000 -- the result of more delays, more passengers bumped off flights, more lost bags. Airline quality rating report co-author Dean Headley said, "We can verify that the quality of the airline industry has gotten progressively worse over the last three years." The study shows ten airlines in 2006 had worse on-time records than the year before, compared to only five that did better. Atlantic Southeast ranked at the bottom with only 66 percent of flights arriving on schedule. ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said, "The report is unfortunately expected. The system is maxed out. For those who think that a $99 flight from LA to New York is standard, it costs the airlines $400 for that seat. It's not realistic." United and US Air had the most customer complaints -- while southwest had the fewest. After ranking first overall three years in a row, JetBlue -- which recently made headlines after stranding passengers on the tarmac for hours -- slipped to second. The top spot instead went to Hawaiian airlines. Among major carriers, Northwest ranked highest. The Air Transport Association says many passenger complaints are the result of factors out of the airlines' control, including bad weather and an outdated air traffic control system.
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