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Air Travel Consumer Report: May 2019 Numbers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released its July 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of May 2019.  The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.

May On-Time Performance

In May 2019, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 77.9%, down from both the 79.8% on-time rate in April 2019 and from 79.2% in May 2018.

May 2019 Flights Arriving On-Time By Market Carrier

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

  1. Hawaiian Airlines Network – 89.0%
  2. Delta Air Lines Network – 85.4%
  3. Alaska Airlines Network – 84.7%

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

  1. Frontier Airlines – 67.0%
  2. American Airlines Network – 74.2%
  3. United Airlines Network – 74.7%

May Cancellations

In May 2019, reporting marketing carriers canceled 2.0% of their scheduled domestic flights, down from both the rate of 2.4% in April 2019 and but up from 1.3% in May 2018.

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

  1. Allegiant Air – 0.1%
  2. Hawaiian Airlines Network – 0.2%
  3. Delta Air Lines Network – 0.3%

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

  1. Southwest Airlines – 3.5%
  2. American Airlines Network – 3.3%
  3. United Airlines Network – 2.2%

Tarmac Delays

In May 2019, airlines reported 44 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to 29 such tarmac delays reported in April 2019 and 12 tarmac delays reported in May 2018.  In May 2019, airlines reported seven tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to one tarmac delay reported in April 2019 and four tarmac delays reported in May 2018.  Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.

Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours (ATCR Table 8)

  1. United Airlines flight 6339 (operated by codeshare partner Mesa Airlines) from Tucson, Ariz., to Houston Bush, 5/3/19 – delayed 6 hours and 41 minutes on the tarmac at Austin, Texas, after being diverted
  2. United Airlines flight 701 from San Francisco to Austin, Texas, 5/3/19 – delayed 5 hours and 8 minutes on the tarmac at Austin
  3. United Airlines flight 716 from Denver to Austin, Texas, 5/3/19 – delayed 4 hours and 48 minutes on the tarmac at Austin

International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours (ATCR Table 8A)

  1. United Airlines flight 6230 (operated by codeshare partner Mesa Airlines) from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, to Houston Bush, 5/3/19 – delayed 8 hours and 48 minutes on the tarmac at Austin, Texas, after being diverted
  2. United Airlines flight 1548 from Cozumel, Mexico, to Houston Bush, 5/3/19 – delayed 7 hours and 41 minutes on the tarmac at Austin, Texas, after being diverted
  3. United Airlines flight 6174 (operated by codeshare partner Mesa Airlines) from Monterrey, Mexico, to Houston Bush, 5/3/19 – delayed 7 hours and 9 minutes on the tarmac at Austin, Texas, after being diverted

Mishandled Baggage

In May 2019, the reporting marketing carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 6.26 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags, a higher rate than April 2019’s rate of 5.40 per 1,000 checked bags. 

Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters

In May 2019, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 61,668 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 951, a rate of 1.54% mishandled, compared to a rate of 1.30% mishandled in April 2019.  In December 2018, DOT reported mishandled wheelchairs and scooters data for carriers for the first time.  See the May 2019 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.  First quarter 2019 bumping/oversales data were released in the May 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report.  January-June 2019 and second quarter 2019 bumping/oversales data will be available in the August 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report.

See pages 41-43 of the May 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report for denied boarding numbers by airline.

Incidents Involving Animals

In May 2019, U.S. airlines reported four incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, equal to the four reports filed in May 2018 and up from the one report filed in April 2019.  May’s incidents involved the death of two animals, and the injury of two animals.

Complaints About Airline Service

In May 2019, DOT received 1,289 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 17% from the total of 1,102 filed in May 2018 and up 7% from the 1,205 received in April 2019. 

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

In May 2019, the Department received a total of  76 disability-related complaints, up from the 66 complaints received in May 2018 and down from the 80 complaints received in April 2019. 

Complaints About Discrimination

In May 2019, the Department received nine complaints alleging discrimination – five regarding race, 2 based on national origin, one regarding color, and one related to sexual discrimination.  This is up from the 6 complaints recorded in April 2018 and an increase from the 5 complaints received in April 2019.  All complaints alleging discrimination are investigated 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, by voicemail at (202) 366-2220, or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.  They may also 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.

Consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights should call their airline’s reservation number or their travel agent.  This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents.  The information is also available on the appropriate carrier’s website.

Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019
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