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Air Travel Consumer Report: March 2018 and 1st Quarter 2018 Numbers

Air Travel Consumer Report: March 2018 and 1st Quarter 2018 Numbers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released its May 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on air carrier data compiled for the month of March 2018 and the first quarter of 2018.  The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.

On-Time Performance

In March 2018, the reporting carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 80.9 percent, up from both the 79.9 percent on-time rate in March 2017 and the 79.3 percent mark in February 2018. 

Highest On-Time Arrival Rates

  1. Delta Air Lines – 87.0 percent
  2. Alaska Airlines – 86.8 percent
  3. Hawaiian Airlines – 85.3 percent

Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates 

  1. JetBlue Airways – 64.2 percent
  2. Virgin America – 69.9 percent
  3. PSA Airlines – 75.5 percent

Cancellations

In March 2018, the reporting carriers canceled 2.8 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, up from both the 1.7 percent cancellation rate posted in March 2017 and the 1.7 percent rate in February 2018. 

Highest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Republic Airlines – 7.7 percent
  2. Endeavor Air – 7.2 percent
  3. JetBlue Airways – 6.4 percent

Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights

  1. Allegiant Air – 0.5 percent
  2. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.5 percent
  3. Alaska Airlines – 0.8 percent

Tarmac Delays

In March 2018, airlines reported one tarmac delay of more than three hours on domestic flights, down from 27 such tarmac delays reported in February 2018.  In March 2018, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to four such tarmac delays reported in February 2018.  All reported extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.

Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours

  1. Allegiant Air flight 644 from Sanford, Fla. to Ogdensburg, N.Y., 3/14/18 – delayed 194 minutes on the tarmac in Sanford

International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours

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

Detailed information on airline on-time performance, cancellations, and tarmac delays is available from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Mishandled Baggage

In March 2018, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.59 reports per 1,000 passengers, an increase over March 2017’s rate of 2.24, but an improvement over February 2018’s rate of 2.72.  For the first quarter of this year, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.92 reports per 1,000 passengers, an increase over the 2.59 rate for the first quarter of 2017.

Bumping/Oversales

Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly.  For the first quarter of 2018, the 18 U.S. carriers who report on-time performance and mishandled baggage data posted an involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, rate of 0.12 per 10,000 passengers, the lowest quarterly rate based on historical data dating back to 1995 and down from both the rate of 0.62 for the first quarter of 2017 and the previous lowest quarterly rate of 0.15 posted in the third quarter of 2017.  See the May Air Travel Consumer Report for denied boarding numbers by airline.

Incidents Involving Animals

In March 2018, U.S. airlines reported three incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, up from both the two reports filed in March 2017 and the one report filed in February 2018.  March’s incidents involved the death of one animal and injuries to two other animals.

Complaints About Airline Service

In March 2018, DOT received 1,194 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 5.7 percent from the total of 1,130 filed in March 2017 and up 14.1 percent from the 1,046 received in February 2018.  For the first quarter of this year, the Department received 3,690 complaints, down 1.1 percent from the 3,730 filed during the first quarter of 2017.

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

In March 2018, the Department received a total of 60 disability-related complaints, up from both the 55 complaints received in March 2017 and the 53 complaints received in February 2018.  For the first quarter of this year, the Department received 178 disability-related complaints, down from the total of 187 filed during the first quarter of 2017.  All complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability are investigated.

Complaints About Discrimination

In March 2018, the Department received nine complaints alleging discrimination – six complaints regarding race, one complaint regarding national origin, and two complaints regarding sex.  This is up from the total of four complaints recorded in both March 2017 and February 2018.  For the first quarter of this year, the Department received 20 discrimination complaints – 12 complaints regarding race, one complaint regarding ancestry/ethnicity, two complaints regarding national origin, one complaint regarding color, one complaint regarding religion, and three complaints regarding sex.  This is equal to the total of 20 filed during the first quarter of 2017.  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 on the web at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm or by voice mail 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: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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