Better Than Monthly AND Yearly Figures
Here are some encouraging signs the abysmal performance of US
airlines may be turning around, however slowly. Flights operated by
the nation’s largest airlines arrived on time at a higher
rate this past July than in both the previous month and July 2007,
according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released Wednesday by
the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
According to information filed with the Bureau of Transportation
Statistics (BTS), a part of DOT's Research and Innovative
Technology Administration (RITA), the 19 carriers reporting on-time
performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 75.7
percent in July, higher than both July 2007's 69.8 percent and June
2008's 70.8 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 and consumer service,
disability and discrimination complaints received by DOT's Aviation
Consumer Protection Division. This report also includes
reports of incidents involving pets traveling by air, as required
to be filed by US carriers.
The consumer report includes BTS data on the number of domestic
flights canceled by the reporting carriers. In July, the carriers
canceled 1.7 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, lower
than both the 2.1 percent cancellation rate of July 2007 and the
1.8 percent rate posted in June 2008.
In July, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported
that 7.78 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system
delays, compared to 10.16 percent in June; 7.17 percent by
late-arriving aircraft, compared to 8.86 percent in June; 6.30
percent by factors within the airline's control, such as
maintenance or crew problems, compared to 6.78 percent in June;
1.01 percent by extreme weather, compared to 1.14 percent in June;
and 0.05 percent for security reasons, the same percentage as
In July, 44.37 percent of late
flights were delayed by weather, up 2.83 percent from July 2007,
when 43.15 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, and
down 6.02 percent from June when 47.21 percent of late flights were
delayed by weather.
The US carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage
data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 4.86 reports per 1,000
passengers in July, an improvement over both July 2007's rate of
7.96 and June 2008's 5.15 rate.
Among the sour notes, in July carriers reported six incidents
involving pets while traveling by air... up from five incidents in
June. The July incidents involved four deaths, one injury and one
lost pet. Fliers also lodged more complaints against airlines in
July than in June 2008... but overall complaints were down 36.4
percent compared with July 2007.