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Air Travel Consumer Report: August 2020 Numbers

Friday, November 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its October 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of August 2020.  The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has resulted in significant changes to airline schedules and operations, contributing to airlines’ on-time performance and cancellation statistics in August 2020. 

The 10 marketing network carriers reported 398,470 scheduled domestic flights in August 2020 compared to 370,859 flights in July 2020 and 717,456 flights in August 2019.  Of those 398,470 scheduled flights, 1.1%, 4,327 flights, were canceled.  As a result of schedule reductions and cancellations, the carriers reported operating 394,143 flights in August 2020, compared to 367,933 flights in July 2020 and to the all-time monthly low of 180,151 flights in May 2020.

A flight is listed as canceled if it was listed in a carrier’s computer reservation system during the seven calendar days prior to a scheduled departure but was not operated.  Canceled flights are included in calculations of on-time arrival performance.
 

August On-Time Performance

In August 2020, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 91.0%, up from both the 90.5% on-time rate in July 2020 and the 77.6% rate in August 2019. See August Operations Edge Up for Some Airlines, Down for Others for scheduled, canceled and operated flights by marketing network by month.

Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates August 2020 (ATCR Table 1)

1.    Southwest Airlines – 93.9%
2.    Delta Air Lines Network – 91.8%
3.    Spirit Airlines – 91.3%

Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates August 2020 (ATCR Table 1)

1.    Allegiant Air – 83.6%
2.    JetBlue Airways – 87.4%
3.    Frontier Airlines – 87.8%

August Cancellations

In August 2020, reporting marketing carriers canceled 1.1% of their scheduled domestic flights, a higher rate than 0.8% in July 2020, but lower than 1.8% in August 2019. 

Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights August 2020 (ATCR Table 6)

1.    Delta Air Lines Network – 0.4%
2.    Spirit Airlines – 0.5%
3.    American Airlines Network – 0.6%

Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights August 2020 (ATCR Table 6)

1.    Hawaiian Airlines Network – 9.0%
2.    Allegiant Air – 3.0%
3.    JetBlue Airways – 2.9%

Tarmac Delays 

In August 2020, airlines reported six tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to 39 tarmac delays reported in July 2020 and 46 tarmac delays reported in August 2019.  In August 2020, airlines reported two tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in July 2020 and two tarmac delays in August 2019.  Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.

Mishandled Baggage

In August 2020, the reporting marketing carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.01 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags, a lower rate than both the July 2020 rate of 3.24 per 1,000 checked bags and the August 2019 rate of 6.06 per 1,000 checked bags. 

See the October 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report for mishandled baggage numbers by airline.

Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters

In August 2020, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 16,328 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 195, a rate of 1.19% mishandled, compared to the rate of 1.17% mishandled in July 2020 and 1.58% in August 2019.  In August 2019, the airlines checked 62,791 wheelchairs and scooters, mishandling 995. 

See the October 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report for mishandled wheelchair and scooter numbers by airline.

Bumping/Oversales

Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly. Second quarter 2020 bumping/oversales data were released in the August 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report.  Third quarter 2020 bumping/oversales data will be available in the November 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report.

See the August 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report for denied boarding numbers by airline.

Incidents Involving Animals

In August 2020, carriers reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the two reports filed in August 2019 and equal to the zero reports filed in July 2020.

Complaints About Airline Service

In August 2020, DOT received 7,657 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 347.0% from the total of 1,713 filed in August 2019, but down 31.1% from the 11,117 received in July 2020.  Of the 7,657 complaints received in August 2020, 6,976 concerned refunds.

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

In August 2020, the Department received a total of 67 disability-related complaints, down from the 109 complaints received in August 2019, but up from the 48 complaints received in July 2020.  All complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability are investigated by the Department.

Complaints About Discrimination

In August 2020, the Department received one complaint alleging discrimination, which regards race.  This is down from both the total of 10 discrimination complaints recorded in August 2019 and the five complaints recorded July 2020.  All complaints alleging discrimination are investigated by the Department to determine if there has been a violation(s) of the passenger’s civil rights.

Consumers may file air travel consumer or civil rights complaints online at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm.  They may also mail a complaint to the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C. 20590.  
 

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