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July Airline On-Time Performance Up, Cancellations Down From Previous Year, June

Press Release Number: 
DOT 83-14
Date: 
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Media Contact: 
Caitlin Harvey, 202-366-4570

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WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 75.6 percent in July, up from both the 73.1 percent on-time rate in July 2013 and the 71.8 percent mark in June 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.

In addition, the reporting carriers canceled 1.6 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in July, down from both the 1.7 percent cancellation rate posted in July 2013 and the 2.0 percent rate in June 2014.

The consumer report also includes data on tarmac delays, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers.  In addition, the consumer report contains information on mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers and consumer service, disability, and discrimination complaints received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.  The consumer report also includes reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.

Tarmac Delays

In July, airlines reported two tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and no tarmac delays of more than four hours on an international flight.  The reported tarmac delays are under investigation by the Department.

Chronically Delayed Flights

At the end of July, there were three flights that were chronically delayed – more than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time – for three consecutive months.  There were an additional 127 regularly scheduled flights that were chronically delayed for two consecutive months.  There were no chronically delayed flights for four consecutive months or more.  A list of flights that were chronically delayed for a single month is available from BTS.

Causes of Flight Delays

In July, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 6.16 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 7.39 percent in June; 9.01 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 10.43 percent in June; 6.59 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 7.06 percent in June; 0.70 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.90 percent in June; and 0.03 percent for security reasons, equal to 0.03 percent in June. 

Weather is a factor in both the extreme-weather category and the aviation-system category.  This includes delays due to the re-routing of flights by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the carriers involved.  Weather is also a factor in delays attributed to late-arriving aircraft, although airlines do not report specific causes in that category.

Data collected by BTS also shows the percentage of late flights delayed by weather, including those reported in either the category of extreme weather or included in National Aviation System delays.  In July, 33.68 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, down from 37.05 percent in June and from 37.91 percent in July 2013.

Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS site on the World Wide Web at http://www.bts.gov.

Mishandled Baggage

The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.55 reports per 1,000 passengers in July, down from both July 2013’s rate of 3.65 and June 2014’s rate of 3.79.

Incidents Involving Pets

In July, carriers reported 10 incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets while traveling by air, up from the six reports filed in July 2013, but down from the 11 reports filed in June 2014.  July’s incidents involved the death of six pets and the injury of four pets.

Complaints About Airline Service

In July, the Department received 1,653 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 3.0 percent from the 1,605 complaints filed in July 2013, and up 18.4 percent from the 1,396 received in June 2014.

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in July against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities.  The Department received a total of 71 disability-related complaints in July, down from both the total of 88 complaints filed in July 2013 and the 85 complaints received in June 2014.

Complaints About Discrimination

In July, the Department received seven complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin, or sex – down from the total of 12 recorded in July 2013, but up from the total of five recorded in June 2014.

Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590; by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511; or on the web at www.dot.gov/airconsumer.

Consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights should call their airline’s reservation number or their travel agent.  This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents.  The information is also available on the appropriate carrier’s website.

The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOT’s World Wide Web site at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/air-travel-consumer-reports.  It is available in “pdf” and Microsoft Word format.

Facts

AIR TRAVEL CONSUMER REPORT
September 2014

KEY ON-TIME PERFORMANCE AND FLIGHT CANCELLATION STATISTICS
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 14 Reporting Carriers and Tarmac Data Filed by All Carriers

Overall

     75.6 percent on-time arrivals

Highest On-Time Arrival Rates

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 93.3 percent
  2. Delta Air Lines – 86.3 percent
  3. Alaska Airlines – 84.1 percent

Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates 

  1. JetBlue Airways – 65.8 percent
  2. Southwest Airlines – 69.4 percent
  3. American Airlines – 72.3 percent

Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours

  1. Spirit Airlines flight 667 from Baltimore to Dallas-Fort Worth, 7/17/14 – delayed on tarmac 218 minutes
  2. US Airways flight 671 from Charlotte to New York JFK, 7/3/14 – delayed on tarmac 186 minutes

International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours

*There were no international flights in July with tarmac delays exceeding four hours.

Highest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Envoy Air (Formerly American Eagle Airlines) – 3.7 percent
  2. ExpressJet Airlines – 3.3 percent
  3. JetBlue Airways – 3.0 percent

Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.1 percent
  2. Virgin America – 0.1 percent
  3. Frontier Airlines – 0.2 percent