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Air Travel Consumer Report: November 2018 Numbers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released its January 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on marketing and reporting air carrier data compiled for the month of November 2018.  The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer. The January report was delayed due to the lapse in appropriations.

November On-Time Performance

In November 2018, marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 79.3 percent, down from the 82.3 percent on-time rate in October 2018.  On-time numbers for marketing carriers were not reported in previous years. 

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

  1. Hawaiian Airlines Network – 90.2 percent
  2. Spirit Airlines – 82.1 percent
  3. Southwest Airlines – 81.7 percent

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

  1. Frontier Airlines – 70.1 percent
  2. JetBlue Airways – 71.2 percent
  3. United Airlines Network – 75.7 percent

In November 2018, reporting carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 79.7 percent, down from the 82.6 percent on-time rate in October 2018 and down from 88.3 percent in November 2017. 

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

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 91.6 percent
  2. Delta Air Lines – 83.3 percent
  3. Spirit Airlines – 82.1 percent

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

  1. Frontier Airlines – 70.1 percent
  2. JetBlue Airways – 71.2 percent
  3. ExpressJet Airlines – 71.6 percent

November Cancellations

In November 2018, marketing carriers canceled 1.2 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, a higher rate than 0.8 percent in October 2018.  Cancellation numbers for marketing carriers were not reported in previous years. 

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

  1. Allegiant Airlines – 0.4 percent
  2. Delta Air Lines Network – 0.5 percent
  3. Spirit Airlines – 0.5 percent

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

  1. United Airlines Network – 1.9 percent
  2. Alaska Airlines Network – 1.7 percent
  3. American Airlines Network – 1.6 percent

In November 2018, reporting carriers canceled 1.1 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, a Higher rate both than 0.7 percent in October 2018 and 0.3 percent in November 2017.

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

  1. Delta Air Lines – 0.1 percent
  2. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.3 percent
  3. Allegiant Airlines – 0.4 percent

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

  1. Envoy Air – 3.2 percent
  2. ExpressJet Airlines – 2.9 percent
  3. Republic Airline – 2.2 percent

Tarmac Delays

In November 2018, airlines reported 21 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, an increase from the two such tarmac delays reported in October 2018, and no tarmac delays reported in November 2017.  In November 2018, airlines reported 12 tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to one such tarmac delays reported in October 2018 and no tarmac delays reported in November 2017.  Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.

In November, 15 of the domestic tarmac delays and 11 of the international tarmac delays involved Newark, N.J., or New York JFK on Nov. 15 when there was snow and freezing rain in that area.

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

  1. United Airlines flight 1293 from John Wayne Santa Ana Airport, Calif., to Newark, N.J., 11/15/18 – delayed 3 hours and 51 minutes on the tarmac at Newark
  2. Spirit Airlines flight 524 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Newark, N.J., 11/15/18 – delayed 3 hours and 45 minutes on the tarmac at Newark
  3. United Airlines flight 4954 (operated by Commutair) from Newark, N.J., to Albany, N.Y., 11/15/18 – delayed 3 hours and 41 minutes on the tarmac at Newark

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

  1. Air Canada flight 549 from Newark, N.J., to Vancouver, Canada, 11/15/18 – delayed 6 hours and 18 minutes on the tarmac at Newark
  2. United Airlines flight 1473 from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Newark, N.J., 11/15/18  – delayed 5 hours and 36 minutes on the tarmac at Newark
  3. British Airways flight 189 from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Newark, N.J., 11/15/18  – delayed 5 hours and 24 minutes on the tarmac at Newark

Mishandled Baggage

In November 2018, the reporting carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.58 reports per 1,000 passengers, a higher rate than both 2.35 in October 2018 and November 2017’s rate of 1.84. 

Bumping/Oversales

Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly.  Third quarter 2018 bumping/oversales data were released in the November 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report.  Full year 2018 and fourth quarter 2018 bumping/oversales data will be available in the February 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report.

Incidents Involving Animals

In November 2018, U.S. airlines reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the one report filed in November 2017 and equal to the zero reports filed in October 2018.

Complaints About Airline Service

In November 2018, DOT received 1,148 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 11.8 percent from the total of 1,302 filed in November 2017 and down 7.5 percent from the 1,242 received in October 2018. 

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

In November 2018, the Department received a total of 73 disability-related complaints, up from both the 64 complaints received in November 2017 and the 68 complaints received in October 2018.  All complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability are investigated.

Complaints About Discrimination

In November 2018, the Department received 12 complaints alleging discrimination – nine regarding race, two regarding national origin, and one regarding sex.  This is down from the total of 13 discrimination complaints reported in November 2017, but up from the 10 reported in October 2018.  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.

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Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
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