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Air Travel Consumer Report: June and 2nd Quarter 2021 Numbers

Friday, August 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its August 2021 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on airline operational data compiled for the month of June and for the second quarter of 2021. The ATCR is designed to assist consumers with information on the quality of services provided by airlines. The ATCR 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) pandemic resulted in significant changes to airline schedules and operations in June 2021 although airlines scheduled and operated more flights in June 2021 than any month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.   
  
The total number of flights operated in June 2021 has reached 83% of pre-pandemic levels with 564,583 flights operated in June 2021 compared with 679,802 flights operated in June 2019. Flights operated in June 2021 were more than double the 236,234 flights operated in June 2020. 
  
In June 2021, the 10 marketing network carriers reported 573,779 scheduled domestic flights, 9,196 (1.6%) of which were canceled, and 564,583 (98.4%) of which were operated. In June 2020, the same airlines reported 237,234 scheduled domestic flights, 1,030 (0.4%) of which were canceled, and 236,234 (99.6%) of which were operated.  In pre-pandemic June 2019, airlines reported 694,469 scheduled domestic flights, 14,667 (2.1%) of which were canceled, and 679,802 (97.9%) of which were operated.   
  
When compared to the 2,350 flights canceled and 517,709 flights operated in May 2021, June 2021 saw a 291% increase in flight cancellations and a 9.1% increase in flights operated.   
 
June On-Time Performance    
  
In June 2021, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 74.6%, down from both 86.2% in May 2021 and 92.7% in June 2020. 
  
For the first six months of 2021, the reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 84.22%, compared to the rate of 79.4% during the same period last year. 

Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates June 2021 (ATCR Table 1) 
  
1.    Hawaiian Airlines – 87.7%   
2.    Delta Air Lines Network – 86.8%     
3.    Alaska Airlines Network – 80.7% 

Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates June 2021 (ATCR Table 1)    
   
1.    Allegiant Air – 56.6%    
2.    Southwest Airlines – 62.4%    
3.    JetBlue Airways – 65.1%    
  
June Cancellations    
   
In June 2021, reporting marketing carriers canceled 1.6% of their scheduled domestic flights, compared to the rate of 0.5% in May 2021 and 0.4% in June 2020.  

Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights June 2021 (ATCR Table 6)    
   
1.    Hawaiian Airline – 0.0%  
2.    Delta Air Lines Network – 0.1%   
3.    JetBlue Airways – 0.6%    
   
Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights June 2021 (ATCR Table 6)    
   
1.    Southwest Airlines – 3.3%    
2.    American Airlines Network – 2.4%    
3.    Allegiant Air – 2.2%    

Tarmac Delays     
   
In June 2021, airlines reported 11 tarmac delay of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to one tarmac delay reported in May 2021 and no tarmac delays reported in June 2020.  In June 2021, airlines reported 1 tarmac delay of more than four hours on international flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in May 2021 and no tarmac delays in June 2020.     
   
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. Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.    
  
Mishandled Baggage    
   
In June 2021, the reporting marketing carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 6.13 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags, a higher rate than both the May 2021 rate of 3.81 per 1,000 checked bags and the June 2020 rate of 2.86 per 1,000 checked bags. For the first six months of the year, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 4.36 per 1,000 checked bags, a lower rate than the 4.76 rate for the same period last year. 
  
Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters    
   
In June 2021, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 56,943 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 741, a rate of 1.3% mishandled, higher than both the rate of 1.18% mishandled in May 2021 and the rate of 1.13% in June 2020. In June 2020, the airlines checked 11,868 wheelchairs and scooters, mishandling 134. For the first six months of the year, the carriers posted a mishandled wheelchair and scooter rate of 1.21%, a lower rate than the 1.34% rate for the same period last year. 
  
Bumping/Oversales    
  
Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly. For the second quarter of 2021, the 10 U.S. reporting marketing carriers posted an involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, rate of 0.17 per 10,000 passengers, higher than the rate of 0.08 in the first quarter of 2021 and the rate of 0.15 in the second quarter of 2020. 
  
For the first six months of 2021, the marketing carriers posted a bumping rate of 0.14 per 10,000 passengers, a higher rate than the 0.12 rate for the same period last year. 
  
Incidents Involving Animals  
   
In June 2021, carriers reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the four reports filed in May 2021 and equal to the zero incidents filed in June 2020.  
  
Complaints About Airline Service  
   
In June 2021, DOT received 4,176 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 17.9% from the 3,539 received in May 2021, and down 73.8% from the total of 15,961 filed in June 2020. Of the 4,176 complaints received in June 2021, 1,677 (40.1%) were against U.S. carriers, 1,738 (41.6%) were against foreign air carriers, and 758 (18.1%) were against travel companies. Also, of the 4,176 complaints received, 2,318 (55.5%) concerned refunds.    
   
For the first six months of 2021, the Department received 22,299 complaints, down 65.8% from the 65,370 filed during the first six months of 2020, but more than the entire year of 2019. 
   
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers  
   
In June 2021, the Department received a total of 139 disability-related complaints, up from both the 108 complaints received in May 2021 and the 28 complaints received in June 2020.   
   
For the first six months of 2021, the Department received 464 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 238 filed during the first six months of 2020.    
   
Complaints About Discrimination  
   
In June 2021, the Department received 12 complaints alleging discrimination – six complaints regarding race, three complaints regarding national origin, one complaint regarding religion, and two complaints regarding sexual discrimination. This is down from the 13 complaints received in May 2021 and up from the five complaints received in June 2020.  
   
For the first six months of 2021, the Department received 58 discrimination complaints – 37 complaints regarding race, two complaints regarding ancestry/ethnicity, seven complaints regarding national origin, three complaints regarding color, three complaints regarding religion, five complaints regarding sexual discrimination, and one complaint categorized as “other.”  This is up from the total of 30 filed during the first six months of 2020.    
  
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. 

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