Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - Flights operated by the nations largest airlines arrived on time at a higher rate this past June than in June of last year, but at a lower rate than in May 2008, 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 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 70.8 percent in June, higher than June 2007s 68.1 percent but down from May 2008s 79.0 percent.
The monthly report also includes data on flight cancellations and the causes of flight delays, as well as information on reports of mishandled baggage filed with the carriers, airline bumping and consumer service, disability and discrimination complaints received by DOTs Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This report also includes reports of incidents involving pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.
The consumer report includes BTS data on the number of domestic flights canceled by the reporting carriers. In June, the carriers canceled 1.8 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, lower than the 2.7 percent cancellation rate of June 2007 but higher than the 1.0 cancellation rate posted in May 2008.
In June, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 10.16 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 7.73 percent in May; 8.86 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 6.39 percent in May; 6.78 percent by factors within the airlines control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 5.12 percent in May; 1.14 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.53 percent in May; and 0.05 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.04 percent in May. 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 June, 47.21 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up 5.00 percent from June 2007, when 44.96 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, and up 7.17 percent from May when 44.05 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.
The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 5.15 reports per 1,000 passengers in June, an improvement over both June 2007s rate of 7.94 and May 2008s 5.94 rate. For the first six months of this year, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 5.82 per 1,000 passengers, down from the 7.36 rate for the first six months of 2007.
The report also includes reports of involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, for the second quarter and first six months of this year from U.S. carriers who also report flight delay information. These carriers posted a bumping rate of 1.00 per 10,000 passengers for the quarter, down from the 1.23 rate for the second quarter of 2007. For the first six months of this year, the carriers had a bumping rate of 1.16 per 10,000 passengers, down from the rate of 1.34 rate posted during the first six months of 2007.
In June, carriers reported five incidents involving pets while traveling by air, down from six incidents in May. The June incidents involved three deaths, one injury and one lost pet.
In June, the department received 881 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 19.7 percent from the 1,097 complaints filed in June 2007 and 0.5 percent fewer than the total of 885 received in May 2008. For the first six months of this year the Department received 6,001 complaints, 2.6 percent fewer than the 6,162 complaints filed during January-June 2007.
The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in June against specific airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. The Department received a total of 27 disability-related complaints in June, down 43.8 percent from the 48 filed in June 2007 and 30.8 percent fewer than the 39 complaints received in May 2008. For the first six months of this year the Department received 226 disability-related complaints, up 6.6 percent from the 212 disability complaints filed during January-June 2007.
In June, the Department received eight complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability such as race, religion, national origin or sex up from the total of six complaints received in June 2007 but fewer than the total of 13 received in May 2008. For the first six months of this year the Department received 55 discrimination complaints, up 14.6 percent from the total of 48 filed during January-June 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 airlines reservation number or their travel agent. 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 19 Reporting Carriers
70.8 percent on-time arrivals
1. Hawaiian Airlines 92.2 percent
2. Pinnacle Airlines 80.7 percent
3. SkyWest Airlines 77.9 percent
1. American Airlines 58.8 percent
2. United Airlines 59.3 percent
3. Comair 63.4 percent
1. American Airlines flight 1639 from New York JFK to San Juan, PR late 100 percent of the time
1. Comair flight 5292 from Minneapolis/St. Paul to New York JFK late 100 percent of the time
3. Comair flight 5469 from New York JFK to Chicago OHare late 96.67 percent of the time
4. American Airlines flight 2361 from Chicago OHare to Dallas/Fort Worth late 96.15 percent of the time
4. Comair flight 5287 from New York JFK to Minneapolis/St. Paul late 96.15 percent of the time
4. ExpressJet flight 3074 from Columbus, OH to Newark, NJ late 96.15 percent of the time
1. Mesa Airlines 4.3 percent
2. American Eagle Airlines 4.2 percent
3. Comair 3.7 percent
1. Frontier Airlines 0.2 percent
2. Hawaiian Airlines 0.3 percent
3. Southwest Airlines 0.3 percent