Thursday, August 5, 2004 - The nation's largest airlines encountered a rise in weather-related delays in June, contributing to a higher rate of flight delays than in both the previous month and June 2003, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
According to information filed with the department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 73.0 percent in June. This fell below both the 82.4 percent on-time arrival percentage recorded in June 2003 and the 77.6 percent mark of May 2004.
In June, 8.4 percent of flights were delayed by weather, up 62 percent from June 2003, when 5.2 percent of flights were delayed by weather, and up 15 percent from May when 7.3 percent of flights were delayed by weather. Weather delays are reported as either extreme weather or included in National Aviation System delays. Weather is also a factor in delays attributed to late-arriving aircraft, although airlines do not report specific causes in that category.
The monthly report also includes data on the causes of flight delays, as well as information on flight cancellations, reports of mishandled baggage filed with the carriers, airline bumping, and consumer service, disability and discrimination complaints received by DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
In June, the carriers filing on-time performance reported that of all flights that were delayed, 33.3 percent of those flights were delayed by weather, compared to 31.2 percent in June 2003 and 33.6 percent in May. These numbers do not include late-arriving aircraft.
Overall, the carriers reported that 9.76 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 8.76 percent in May; 7.78 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 5.79 percent in May; 6.06 percent by factors within the airline's control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 4.66 percent in May; 1.59 percent by extreme weather, compared to 1.11 percent in May; and 0.07 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.04 percent in May. Weather is a factor in the extreme-weather, the aviation-system and the late-arriving aircraft categories. This includes delays due to the re-routing of flights by DOT's Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the carriers involved – and the late-arriving aircraft category. Airlines first began reporting causes of delays in June 2003.
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 consumer report also includes BTS data on the number of domestic flights canceled by the reporting carriers. In June, the carriers canceled 1.5 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, above the rate of 0.8 recorded in June 2003 but below May 2004's rate of 1.7 percent.
The U.S. carriers reporting flight delay and mishandled-baggage data posted a mishandled-baggage rate of 5.05 reports per 1,000 passengers in June, higher than both June 2003's 4.22 rate and May 2004's 4.13. For the first six months of this year, the carriers posted a mishandled-baggage rate of 4.58 reports per 1,000 passengers, up from the 4.25 rate for January-June 2003.
The report also includes airline reports of involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, for the second quarter of 2004. Of the 19
In June, the department received 561 complaints from consumers about airline service, 10.9 percent more than the 506 received in June 2003 and 25.5 percent more than the total of 447 filed in May 2004. For the first six months of this year, the department received 3,550 complaints, up 12.9 percent from the 3,143 complaints filed during January-June 2003.
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 38 disability-related complaints in June, 26.7 percent more than the 30 complaints received in June 2003 but 20.8 percent below the total of 48 complaints received in May 2004. For the first six month of this year the department received 269 disability-related complaints, 80.5 percent more than the 149 filed during January-June 2003.
In June, the department received five complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin or sex – fewer than the totals of seven received in June 2003 and 11 in May 2004. For the first six months of this year, the department received 50 such discrimination complaints, 19 percent more than the total of 42 filed during January-June 2003.
Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, Room 4107, 400 7th St., S.W., Washington, DC 20590; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.
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 DOT's 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
73.0 percent on-time arrivals
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 95.3 percent
2. JetBlue Airways – 82.5 percent
3. SkyWest Airlines – 82.2 percent
1. Atlantic Southeast Airlines – 65.7 percent
2. American Eagle Airlines – 65.9 percent
3. Delta Air Lines – 68.1 percent
1. Northwest Airlines flight 816 from Memphis, TN to Atlanta – late 95.24 percent of the time
1. Northwest Airlines flight 275 from Detroit to San Diego – late 95.24 percent of the time
3. Southwest Airlines flight 2130 from Albuquerque, NM to Phoenix– late 94.44 percent of the time
4. Southwest Airlines flight 993 from Kansas City, MO to Oklahoma City – late 93.75 percent of the time
4. Southwest Airlines flight 1097 from Dallas to Houston – late 93.75 percent of the time
1. American Eagle Airlines – 4.0 percent
2. Atlantic Southeast Airlines – 3.7 percent
3. Atlantic Coast Airlines – 3.4 percent
1. JetBlue Airways – 0.0 percent
2. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.1 percent
3. ATA Airlines – 0.3 percent