But BTS Reports The Rate Is Down From 2010
The nation’s largest airlines recorded a rate of on-time
flights in August that was an improvement over July’s mark
but down from August 2010’s on-time rate, according to the
Air Travel Consumer Report released Thursday by the U.S. DOT.
Information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
(BTS), a part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology
Administration, shows that the 16 carriers reporting on-time
performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 79.3
percent in August, down from the 81.7 percent rate of August 2010
but up from the 77.8 percent recorded in July 2011.
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 DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection
Division. This report also includes reports of incidents
involving pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S.
The carriers filing on-time performance with the Department
reported three tarmac delays of more than three hours in August,
compared to one in both August 2010 and July 2011. During August,
the carriers canceled 2.5 percent of their scheduled domestic
flights, up from both August 2010’s 1.0 percent cancellation
rate and July 2011’s 1.7 percent.
At the end of August, there were 10 flights that were
chronically delayed – more than 30 minutes late more than 50
percent of the time – for three consecutive months.
There were an additional 71 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.
The carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 5.19
percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays,
compared to 5.69 percent in July; 6.63 percent by late-arriving
aircraft, compared to 7.99 percent in July; 5.28 percent by factors
within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew
problems, compared to 5.84 percent in July; 0.70 percent by extreme
weather, compared to 0.64 percent in July; and 0.04 percent for
security reasons, compared to 0.03 percent in July. 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 DOT’s 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
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 August, 39.47 percent of late flights were delayed by weather,
up 12.55 percent from August 2010, when 35.07 percent of late
flights were delayed by weather, and up 3.30 percent from July when
38.21 percent of late flights were delayed by weather.