WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 70.7 percent in February, down from the 79.6 percent on-time rate posted in February 2013, but up from the 67.7 percent on-time rate posted in January 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.
Airlines also reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and one tarmac delay of more than four hours on an international flight.
The consumer report also includes data on cancellations, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the reporting carriers. In addition, the consumer report contains information on mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers and airline service complaints received by the Department’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. The consumer report also includes reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.
The reporting carriers canceled 5.5 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in February, up from the 2.4 percent cancellation rate posted in February 2013, but down from the 6.5 percent rate posted in January 2014.
Chronically Delayed Flights
At the end of February, there were 22 flights that were chronically delayed – more than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time – for three consecutive months. There were an additional 73 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 February, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 6.92 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 6.60 percent in January; 9.09 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 9.87 percent in January; 6.78 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 7.66 percent in January; 0.74 percent by extreme weather, compared to 1.26 percent in January; and 0.02 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.03 percent in January.
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 February, 32.73 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up from 29.14 percent in January and down from 36.96 in February 2013.
Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS website at http://www.bts.gov.
The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 4.21 reports per 1,000 passengers in February, up from the February 2013 rate of 2.99, but down from the January 2014 rate of 5.54.
Incidents Involving Pets
In February, carriers reported no incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets while traveling by air, down from both the four reports filed in February 2013 and the two reports filed in January 2014.
Complaints About Airline Service
In February, the Department received 1,171 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 30.0 percent from the 901 complaints filed in February 2013, and down 31.6 percent from the 1,713 received in January 2014.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in February against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. The Department received a total of 33 disability-related complaints in February, down from both the total of 42 complaints filed in February 2013 and the 76 complaints received in January 2014.
Complaints About Discrimination
In February, the Department received five complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin, or sex – equal to the total of five recorded in February 2013, but down from the eight recorded in January 2014.
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.dot.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 is available in PDF format.
AIR TRAVEL CONSUMER REPORT
KEY ON-TIME PERFORMANCE AND FLIGHT CANCELLATION STATISTICS
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 14 Reporting Carriers and Tarmac Data Filed by All Carriers
70.7 percent on-time arrivals
Highest On-Time Arrival Rates
- Hawaiian Airlines – 90.1 percent
- Alaska Airlines – 85.7 percent
- Delta Air Lines – 77.5 percent
Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates
- ExpressJet Airlines – 59.0 percent
- Frontier Airlines – 64.2 percent
- JetBlue Airways – 64.6 percent
Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours
*There were no domestic flights in February with tarmac delays exceeding three hours.
International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours
- China Eastern Airlines flight 587 from Shanghai to New York JFK, 2/21/14 – delayed on tarmac 250 minutes
Highest Rates of Canceled Flights
- ExpressJet Airlines – 11.7 percent
- American Eagle Airlines – 8.8 percent
- US Airways – 6.6 percent
Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights
- Hawaiian Airlines – 0.1 percent
- Frontier Airlines – 0.5 percent
- Alaska Airlines – 1.2 percent