Air Travel Consumer Report: February 2022 Numbers
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on airline operational data compiled for the month of February 2022 for on-time performance, mishandled baggage, mishandled wheelchairs and scooters, complaints received, and oversales. The ATCR is designed to assist consumers with information on the quality of services provided by airlines. It also contains information on complaints involving passenger and baggage security screening received by the Transportation Security Administration. The ATCR and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.
In February, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to result in significant changes to airline schedules and operations. The 496,531 flights operated in February 2022 were 87.9% of the 564,614 flights operated in pre-pandemic February 2019. Operated flights in February 2022 were up 50.5% year-over-year from the 329,969 flights operated in February 2021 and down 6.0% month-over-month from the 528,070 flights operated in January 2022.
In February 2022, the 10 marketing network carriers reported 519,952 scheduled domestic flights, 23,421 (4.5 %) of which were canceled. In February 2021, the same airlines reported 350,170 scheduled domestic flights, 20,201 (5.8%) of which were canceled. In January 2022, airlines scheduled 563,737 domestic flights, of which 35,667 (6.3%) were canceled.
February 2022 On-Time Arrival
In February 2022, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 76.6%, up from 75.3% in January 2022 and 73.8% in pre-pandemic February 2019. The year-to-date on-time arrival rate for 2022 is 75.9%.
Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates February 2022 (ATCR Table 1)
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 87.1%
2. Delta Air Lines Network – 82.8%
3. Alaska Airlines Network– 82.8%
Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates February 2022 (ATCR Table 1)
1. JetBlue Airways – 61.8%
2. Allegiant Air – 65.1%
3. Frontier Airlines – 68.0%
February 2022 Flight Cancellations
In February 2022, reporting marketing carriers canceled 4.5% of their scheduled domestic flights, lower than the rate of 6.3% in January 2022 and 3.1% in pre-pandemic February 2019.
Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights February 2022 (ATCR Table 6)
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.2%
2. Alaska Airlines Network – 1.5%
3. Delta Air Lines Network– 2.4%
Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights February 2022 (ATCR Table 6)
1. American Airlines Network – 7.2%
2. Allegiant Air – 5.7%
3. JetBlue Airways – 5.1%
In February 2022, airlines reported eight tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to 14 tarmac delays reported in January 2022. In February 2022, airlines reported zero tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to five tarmac delays reported in January 2022.
Airlines are required to have and adhere to assurances that they will not allow aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights without providing passengers the option to deplane, subject to exceptions related to safety, security, and Air Traffic Control related reasons. An exception also exists for departure delays if the airline begins to return the aircraft to a suitable disembarkation point to deplane passengers by those times.
Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
In February 2022, reporting marketing carriers handled 32.0 million bags and posted a mishandled baggage rate of 0.60, a lower rate than the January 2022 rate of 0.81% and the pre-pandemic February 2019 rate of 0.63%.
In the previous three calendar year reports (2019 to 2022), the Department calculated the mishandled baggage rate based on the number of mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags. The Department is now displaying the mishandled baggage data as a percentage (i.e., per 100 bags enplaned). This is consistent with the manner that the mishandled wheelchairs and scooters rate is calculated and displayed.
Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters
In February 2022, reporting marketing carriers reported checking 33,545 wheelchairs and scooters, mishandling 578 for a rate of 1.72% mishandled wheelchairs and scooters, lower than the rate of 1.84% mishandled in January 2022 and equal to the pre-pandemic February 2019 rate of 1.72%.
Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly.
For the fourth quarter of 2021, the 10 U.S. reporting marketing carriers posted an involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, rate of 0.23 per 10,000 passengers, higher than the rate of 0.16 in the third quarter of 2021 and the rate of 0.03 in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Incidents Involving Animals
In February 2022, carriers reported zero incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the one report filed in January 2022 and equal to the zero reports filed in pre-pandemic February 2019.
Complaints About Airline Service
In February 2022, DOT received 3,733 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 26.7% from the 5,091 complaints received in January 2022 and up 249.9% from the 1,067 complaints received in pre-pandemic February 2019.
Of the 3,733 complaints received in February 2022, 1,890 (50.6%) were against U.S. carriers, 1,299 (34.8%) were against foreign air carriers, and 539 (14.4%) were against travel companies.
Also, of the 3,733 complaints received in February 2022, 1,688 (45.2%) concerned refunds. The Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection continues to communicate with airlines and travel companies that receive refund complaints to ensure compliance with the refund requirements. Many passengers who had initially been denied refunds have received the required refunds. The Department has taken and will take enforcement action against noncompliant airlines and ticket agents as necessary.
Flight problems was the second highest category of the complaints received in February 2022. Of the 3,733 complaints received, 568 (15.2%) concerned cancellations, delays, or other deviations from airlines’ schedules. The Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection routinely contacts airlines with widespread cancellations or delays to remind them of their obligation to promptly refund passengers who choose not to accept the alternative offered for a canceled or significantly changed flight. Airlines are also required to have and adhere to a customer service plan that identifies the services that the airline provides to mitigate passenger inconveniences resulting from flight cancellations and misconnections. The Department monitors airlines’ actions and reviews complaints that it receives against airlines to ensure that consumers’ rights are not violated.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
In February 2022, the Department received a total of 116 disability-related complaints, down from the 143 disability-related complaints received in January 2022, but up from the 59 complaints received in pre-pandemic February 2019.
Complaints About Discrimination
In February 2022, the Department received three complaints alleging discrimination – two complaints regarding race and one complaint regarding religion. This is down from both the five complaints received in January 2022 and from the 14 complaints recorded in pre-pandemic February 2019.
Consumers may file air travel consumer or civil rights complaints online at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm or by voicemail at (202) 366-2220, or they may mail a complaint to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.