Airline Quality Ratings

About the Authors

Photo of Dr. Brent Bowen

Dr. Brent Bowen joined world-renowned Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus as Dean of Aviation in July 2013.

In previous academic experience, Bowen was Professor and Head of the Aviation Technology Department at Purdue University, and Professor and Chair of Aviation Science with Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. He also directed the office of Air Transportation Policy and served as Senior Fellow with the National Center for Aviation Safety Research at Saint Louis University.

Among the general public, Bowen is best known as the creator of the national Airline Quality Rating, produced annually for the past 23 years. The ranking received more than 90 million media views this year alone, boosted by his appearance on The Today Show and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

Bowen has authored/co-authored numerous successful grant proposals totaling more than $25 million and has over 500 publications, papers and program appearances to his credit.

His research focuses on productivity and service quality enhancement in aviation and related industries, using service quality evaluation, marketing channels and benchmarking while incorporating safety and security issues via comprehensive systems models. He also publishes in areas related to effective teaching, student recruitment and retention in collegiate aviation and higher education programs and gender issues in aviation and technology education.

As an industry consultant, pilot and former fixed-base operator and scheduled air carrier operator, Bowen has been an invited expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations and an invited speaker and panelist for the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Transportation Research Board and other congressional and executive panels. The FAA has called on him for guidance on such topics as airspace optimization as a component of the next-generation air transportation system and the cultivation of future transportation leaders.

Bowen’s recent professional affiliations include the Aerospace States Association (governor’s delegate), Aviation Accreditation Board International (founding committee chair), International Air Transportation Research Society (network committee member), University Aviation Association (past board member) and World Aerospace Education Organization (past president).

His substantial accomplishments have been recognized with awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, FAA, NASA, Travel and Transportation Research Association, University Aviation Association, World Aerospace Education Organization and many others.

Bowen holds an Ed.D. in Aviation Sciences and an MBA, both from Oklahoma State University. His FAA certifications include Airline Transport Pilot (Type-Rated Douglas DC-3 Second in Command), Certified Flight Instructor (Single-Engine Land, Multi-Engine Land and Instrument) with Gold Seal, Advanced-Instrument Ground Instructor, Aviation Safety Counselor and Aerospace Education Counselor.


Photo of Dr. Dean E. Headley

Dr. Dean E. Headley is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Marketing at the W. Frank Barton School of Business, Wichita State University. He holds a Doctorate in Marketing and Statistics from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Business Administration Degree from Wichita State University, and a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Headley's research interests include methodology development for measurement of service quality, the connection between service quality and consumer behavior, consumer choice processes in service settings, and the effects of marketing activities
on consumers and providers of services.

Dr. Bowen's and Dr. Headley's research on the development of the national Airline Quality Rating (AQR) is viewed by more than 75 million people each year and is annually featured by national news outlets such as ABC's Good Morning America, The Cable News Network, The Today Show, C-Span, USA Today, The Associated Press, The Wall Street
Journal, Aviation Week and Space Technology, the network evening news shows, and in numerous other national and international media. Bowen and/or Headley have served as invited expert witnesses before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations and have served as invited speakers and panelists for such groups as the National Academy of Sciences/Transportation Research Board, Department of Transportation and other Congressional and Executive panels. Dr. Bowen served on the National Research Council Steering Group on the Small Aircraft Transportation System and was named by the FAA Administrator to a National Academy of Science study group on airspace optimization as a component of the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Their body of research has been recognized with awards from the American Marketing Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Travel and Transportation Research Association, and others.