A look at airlines’ February on-time performance
April 9, 2009 ·
U.S. airlines’ on-time performance and baggage handling improved in February, while cancellations declined, compared to the same month a year ago, government data released Thursday showed. Complaints to the Department of Transportation also dropped year-over-year.
Alaska Airlines, a unit of Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Inc., had the worst on-time arrival rate in February, while Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time performance in the month.
The DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 82.6 percent in February, an improvement over both February 2008′s 68.6 percent and the 77 percent recorded in January of this year.
In February, the carriers canceled 1.2 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, a lower rate than both the 3.6 percent cancellation rate of February 2008 and the 2.3 percent rate posted in January of this year.
The airlines overall had a mishandled baggage rate of 3.56 reports per 1,000 passengers in February, an improvement over both February 2008′s rate of 6.41 reports per 1,000 passengers and the rate of 5.2 reports per 1,000 passengers posted in January of this year.
The DOT said that in February it received 576 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 38.5 percent from the 937 complaints filed in February 2008 and 34.8 percent fewer than the total of 884 complaints received in January of this year.
Alaska Airlines had the lowest on-time arrival rate in February, at 76.3 percent. The most frequently delayed flight in the month was Delta Air Lines flight 2008 from Savannah, Ga., to Atlanta, which was late 94.1 percent of the time.
Regional carrier Comair Inc., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Delta, had the second-lowest on-time arrival rate in February, at 76.6 percent, while Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. had the third-lowest, at 77.7 percent.
Hawaiian Airlines had the highest on-time arrival rate in February, at 91.2 percent, while Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. had the second-highest, at 88.3 percent, and Memphis, Tenn.-based carrier Pinnacle Airlines had the third-highest, at 86.8 percent.
Among legacy carriers, Delta’s on-time arrival rate was highest in February, good for fifth-best overall. For discount carriers, Southwest had the best on-time arrival rate in February.