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Evidence-based medicine theory can be applied to frequent flying says US professor
Date:3/31/2010

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Professor Citrome's initial analysis showed that departure delays ranged from 20 to 30 per cent, with the NNF ranging from 10 to 31 flights when comparisons were carried out against the top performing airline.

"I should point out that these figures were merely used to demonstrate the theory I have developed and the data used in the calculations were taken from an advertisement in USA Today" stresses Professor Citrome. "Further research is needed to validate and refine the statistics, but they provided a useful starting point."

But it doesn't end there. Professor Citrome suggests that other factors could be taken into account to determine number needed to upgrade (NNU) from coach to first class.

"NNU can be highly variable, depending on baseline factors such as the city one is flying from, time of day, day of the week, class of ticket purchased and individual traveller characteristics like frequent flyer loyalty club status level" he points out.

By working out the NNF and the NNU, Professor Citrome argues that it would be possible to come up with comparative values on the likelihood of being upgraded or delayed (LUD) on each airline.

Other factors that could be included in the equation include type of food served (free or not), pillow and blanket policy, cost considerations, charges for extra baggage and availability of flights.

"Using these baseline characteristics, in the same way as we would use factors in evidence-based medicine, could help us make the final estimates more precise" he argues.

Professor Citrome, who has frequent flyer platinum status on one airline and silver on another, looks forward to greater transparency by the airlines.

"The posting of delay and upgrade rates in publicly accessible airline registries will further enhance the amount of data available to help us make wise flying decisions" he says.


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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

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