Thursday, January 3, 2008 - The nations largest airlines recorded lower rates of flight delays, cancellations and mishandled bags this past November than during both the same month last year and in October 2007, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
According to information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), the 20 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 80.0 percent in November, better than both November 2006s 76.5 percent and October 2007s 78.2 percent.
The report also shows that these carriers canceled 1.0 percent of their scheduled flights in November, down from both November 2006s cancellation rate of 1.6 and October 2007s 1.2 percent.
In addition, the U.S. carriers reporting flight delay and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 4.89 reports per 1,000 passengers in November, lower than both the 6.32 rate of November 2006 and the 5.36 rate for October 2007.
The monthly report also includes data on causes of flight delays, as well as consumer service, disability and discrimination complaints received by DOTs Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This report also includes reports required to be filed by U.S. carriers of incidents involving pets traveling by air.
The carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 6.77 percent of their November flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 7.54 percent in October; 6.07 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 6.62 percent in October; 5.39 percent by factors within the airlines control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 5.63 percent in October; 0.51 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.64 percent in October; and 0.04 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.05 percent in October. 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 DOTs 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 November, 37.82 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, down 7.12 percent from November 2006, when 40.72 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, and down 5.05 percent from October when 39.83 percent of late flights were delayed by weather.
Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS site on the World Wide Web at http://www.bts.gov.
In November, carriers reported eight incidents involving pets while traveling by air, compared to four in October. The November incidents involved two deaths, two injuries and four lost pets.
In November, the Department received 808 complaints from consumers about airline service, 37.2 percent more than the 589 complaints received in November 2006 but 26.3 percent fewer than the total of 1,096 filed in October 2007.
The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in November against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. The Department received a total of 39 disability-related complaints in November, up 14.7 percent from the 34 complaints filed in November 2006 but 30.4 percent fewer than the total of 56 received in October 2007.
In November, the Department received three complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability such as race, religion, national origin or sex down from both the totals of nine filed in November 2006 and 11 received in October 2007.
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 http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov.
Consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights should call their airline ticket offices or their travel agents. This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents.
The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOTs World Wide Web site at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov. It is available in PDF and Microsoft Word format.
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 20 Reporting Carrier
80.0 percent on-time arrivals
1. Hawaiian Airlines 92.4 percent
2. Aloha Airlines 91.6 percent
3. Delta Air Lines 85.6 percent
1. United Airlines 75.5 percent
2. American Airlines 75.6 percent
3. Atlantic Southeast Airlines 76.7 percent
1. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2979 from Hartford, CT/Springfield, MA to Newark, NJ late 88.46 percent of the time
2. Continental Airlines flight 1532 from Houston Bush to New York LaGuardia late 87.50 percent of the time
3. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2076 from Newark, NJ to Indianapolis late 85.19 percent of the time
3. Mesa Airlines flight 7462 from Washington Dulles to New York LaGuardia late 85.19 percent of the time
5. American Airlines flight 350 from Chicago OHare to New York LaGuardia late 83.33 percent of the time
5. American Airlines flight 1497 from Newark, NJ to Chicago OHare late 83.33 percent of the time
5. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2717 from Newark, NJ to St. Louis late 83.33 percent of the time
1. Mesa Airlines 2.9 percent
2. American Eagle Airlines 1.7 percent
3. SkyWest Airlines 1.5 percent
1. Frontier Airlines 0.1 percent
2. Continental Airlines 0.2 percent
3. JetBlue Airways 0.2 percent