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ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines Inc. stayed at the No. 4 spot for the second year in a row on the annual Airline Quality Rating report, though it had fewer consumer complaints.

The Atlanta-based airline's score for 2013 was basically flat at -0.59, compared with the industry average of -1.07.

Delta's on-time percentage of 84.5 percent was down a bit from 86.5 percent in 2012.

Its mishandled baggage rate of 2.19 bags per 1,000 passengers in 2013 was slightly higher than the 2.10 rate for 2012, but was better than the industry average of 3.21 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers.

An increase in denied boardings (2013 rate of 0.57 per 10,000 passengers compared to 0.51 for 2012) and a reduced rate of customer complaints (0.59 in 2013 compared to 0.73 in 2012) also combined to basically keep Delta's AQR score the same for 2013 (-0.59 in 2013 compared to -0.58 in 2012).

The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) of the top 15 airlines is a joint research project funded as part of faculty research activitiesWichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It is based on on-time performance, denied boardings, mishandled baggage and customer complaints.

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