Wed, Aug 11, 2010
Do We Dare Hope For Continued Improvement????
The nation's largest airlines reported only three flights in
June with tarmac delays of more than three hours compared to 268
flights in June 2009 and with no increase in the rate of canceled
flights, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released
Tuesday by the U.S. 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 only tarmac delays longer
than three hours reported in June by the 18 airlines who file
on-time performance with DOT involved three United Airlines flights
departing Chicago's O'Hare airport on June 18, a day in which the
Chicago area experienced a severe thunderstorm. None of the tarmac
delays exceeded the three-hour limit by more than five minutes.
June was the second full month of data since the new aviation
consumer rule went into effect on April 29. In May, the first full
month, there were five reported tarmac times of more than three
hours, down from 34 in May 2009. A subsequent DOT investigation
determined that four of the five May flights were misreported by
the airline. Corrected data will be available from BTS when the
airline submits revised data.
The carriers canceled 1.5 percent of their scheduled domestic
flights in June, equal to the 1.5 percent cancellation rate of June
2009. They posted a 1.2 percent cancellation rate in May 2010.
The new rule prohibits U.S. airlines operating domestic flights
from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than
three hours without deplaning passengers, with exceptions allowed
only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the
pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt
airport operations. The Department will investigate tarmac delays
that exceed this limit.
The monthly report also includes data on on-time performance,
chronically delayed flights, flight cancellations and the causes of
flight delays by the reporting carriers. In addition, it has
information on airline bumping, 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 U.S.
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