April On-Time Performance Up, Cancellations Down From Previous Year, March 2015

April On-Time Performance Up, Cancellations Down From Previous Year, March 2015


WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 81.8 percent in April, up from both the 79.6 percent on-time rate in April 2014 and the 78.7 percent mark in March 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.

In addition, the reporting carriers canceled 0.9 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in April, an improvement over both the 1.1 percent cancellation rate posted in April 2014 and the 2.2 percent rate in March 2015.

The consumer report also includes data on tarmac delays, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers.  In addition, the consumer report contains statistics on mishandled baggage reports filed by the consumers with the carriers and consumer service, disability, and discrimination complaints received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.  The consumer report also includes reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of animals traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.

Tarmac Delays

In April, airlines reported one tarmac delay of more than three hours on a domestic flights and no tarmac delay of more than four hours on international flights.  The reported tarmac delay is under investigation by the Department.

Chronically Delayed Flights

At the end of April, there were two flights that were chronically delayed – more than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time – for three consecutive months.  There were no additional regularly scheduled flights that were chronically delayed for two consecutive months.  There were no chronically delayed flights for four consecutive months or more.  A list of flights that were chronically delayed for a single month is available from BTS.

Causes of Flight Delays

In April, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported total delays of 18.2 percent – 5.36 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 5.61 percent in March; 5.91 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 6.86 percent in March; 5.09 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 5.97 percent in March; 0.57 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.47 percent in March; and 0.02 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.03 percent in March. 

Weather is a factor in both the extreme-weather category and the aviation-system category.  This includes delays due to the re-routing of flights by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the carriers involved.  Weather is also a factor in delays attributed to late-arriving aircraft, although airlines do not report specific causes in that category.

Data collected by BTS also shows the percentage of late flights delayed by weather, including those reported in either the category of extreme weather or included in National Aviation System delays.  In April, 29.93 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up from 26.45 percent in April 2014 and from 26.57 percent in March.

Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS site at http://www.bts.gov.

Mishandled Baggage

The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.93 reports per 1,000 passengers in April, up from April 2014’s rate of 2.90, but down from March 2015’s rate of 3.42.

Incidents Involving Animals

In April, carriers reported six incidents involving the loss, injury, or death of animals while traveling by air, up from the three reports filed in in March 2015.  April’s incidents involved the deaths of three animals, two injured animals, and one lost animal.

Complaints About Airline Service

In April, the Department received 1,415 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 12.4 percent from the total of 1,259 filed in April 2014, but down 18.3 percent from the 1,733 received in March 2015. 

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in April against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities.  The Department received a total of 59 disability-related complaints in April, down from the 67 complaints received in April 2014, but up from the 52 complaints received in March 2015.

Complaints About Discrimination

In April, the Department received eight complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin, or sex – up from both the total of six recorded in April 2014 and the three recorded in March 2015.

Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590; by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511; or on the web at www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.

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.

The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOT’s website at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/air-travel-consumer-reports



June 2015


Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 14 Reporting Carriers and Tarmac Data Filed by All Carriers


     81.8 percent on-time arrivals

Highest On-Time Arrival Rates

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 92.7 percent
  2. Alaska Airlines – 89.3 percent
  3. Delta Air Lines – 86.8 percent

Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates 

  1. Frontier Airlines – 72.5 percent
  2. Spirit Airlines – 74.7 percent
  3. Envoy Air – 77.0 percent

Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours

  1. Southwest Airlines flight 3220 from Houston Hobby to Denver, 4/17/15 – delayed on tarmac 240 minutes in Pueblo, Colo.

International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours

* There were no international flights in April with tarmac delays exceeding four hours.

Highest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Envoy Air – 3.3 percent
  2. ExpressJet Airlines – 1.9 percent
  3. SkyWest Airlines – 1.4 percent

Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.2 percent
  2. Delta Air Lines – 0.2 percent
  3. Virgin America – 0.3 percent


DOT 54-15

Thursday, June 11, 2015