Monday, September 12, 2011 - The on-time performance of the nations largest airlines improved in July 2011 compared to the previous month and July 2010, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration, shows that the 16 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 77.8 percent in July, up from both the 76.7 percent on-time rate of July 2010 and June 2011s 76.9 percent rate.
The monthly report also includes data on lengthy tarmac delays, chronically delayed flights, flight cancellations, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department by the reporting carriers. In addition, the report contains information on reports of mishandled baggage filed by consumers with the carriers, 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 carriers filing on-time performance with the Department reported only one tarmac delay of more than three hours in July, compared to three in July 2010 and 14 in June 2011.
During July, the carriers canceled 1.7 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, up from July 2010s 1.4 percent cancellation rate but down from June 2011s 1.8 percent.
At the end of July, there was one flight that was chronically delayed more than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time for three consecutive months. There were an additional 34 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 (www.bts.gov).
In July, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 5.69 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 6.06 percent in June; 7.99 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 8.15 percent in June; 5.84 percent by factors within the airlines control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 6.10 percent in June; 0.64 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.67 percent in June; and 0.03 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.04 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 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 July, 38.21 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up 1.60 percent from July 2010, when 37.61 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, and up 4.11 percent from June when 36.70 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 3.71 reports per 1,000 passengers in July, up from both July 2010s rate of 3.69 and June 2011s rate of 3.57.
In July, carriers reported six incidents involving the loss, death or injury of pets while traveling by air, down from the eight reports filed in July 2010, but up from the five reports filed in June 2011. Julys incidents involved the deaths of five pets and the injury of one pet.
In July, the Department received 1,285 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 17.1 percent from the 1,097 complaints filed in July 2010, and up 14.0 percent from the 1,127 received in June 2011.
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 56 disability-related complaints in July, up from both the total of 31 complaints filed in July 2010 and the 48 complaints received in June 2011.
In July, the Department received five 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 both July 2010 and June 2011.
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.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 information is also available on the appropriate carriers website.
The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOTs World Wide Web site at http://airconsumer.dot.gov. It is available in "pdf" and Microsoft Word format.
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 16 Reporting Carriers
77.8 percent on-time arrivals
1. Hawaiian Airlines 95.1 percent
2. Alaska Airlines 90.9 percent
3. Southwest Airlines 83.8 percent
1. Atlantic Southeast Airlines 69.0 percent
2. ExpressJet Airlines 71.1 percent
3. Frontier Airlines 72.8 percent
1. Continental Airlines flight 44 from Miami to Newark, NJ, 7/7/11 delayed on tarmac 201 minutes
(There was only one reported flight in July with a tarmac delay of more than three hours)
1. American Eagle Airlines 3.6 percent
2. Frontier Airlines 3.2 percent
3. ExpressJet Airlines 2.8 percent
1. Hawaiian Airlines 0.0 percent*
2. Alaska Airlines 0.3 percent
3. AirTran Airways 0.5 percent
*Hawaiian canceled two flights in July