Airlines Are Getting Better At Being On-Time & Not Losing Baggage

Statistics, no one really likes reading them … well no, that’s not true, I am sure some people like reading statistics … OK, when it comes to airline information I like reading statistics (just don’t tell any of the teachers who taught my high school math classes, they’d never believe you).  Yesterday, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released its performance statistics for March 2010 … and surprisingly, the numbers looked interesting.

In March 2010 airlines show an improvement in on-time and flight departure performance. In the United States, airlines cancelled a mere 1.5% of their flights, down from 2.1% a year earlier, and tarmac delays of 3 or more hours were down to .005%, from 0.13% a year earlier.

when you read about the new passenger bill of rights that impacts all flights with delays over 3-hrs, keep in mind that this passenger bill of rights only impacts a miniscule percent of flights annually.

The overall on-time arrivals for commercial airlines in the U.S. was 80%, meaning 80% of all flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.  Of the on-time airlines, Hawaiian Airlines once again takes the top honours, performing at a 90.2% in time performance record.  Hawaiian Airlines also takes the top slot for the least number of cancelled flights … having cancelled no flights in March.

When it comes to delays, weather as expected takes the primary blame, accounting for 40.68% of all delayed flights. For those seeking to place the blame on ‘the system,’ only 6.03% of all flights were delayed due to ‘aviation system delays.’

Surprisingly, the airline with the highest customer satisfaction rating in the U.S. had the top four slots with the most delayed flights in March, these top four positions are actually held by seven flights … with the #1 most delayed flight being Southwest Airlines Flight 1142 from Baltimore to New York’s La Guardia being delayed 100% of the time.

As fewer passengers check bags, due to checked baggage fees, the number of lost or delayed bags is decreasing. In March 2010 only 0.372% of all checked bags were delayed, lost or damaged.  A year ago 0.423% bags was ‘mishandled’ by airlines in the U.S., still a low number, but the airlines are clearly improving.

When you factor in that some baggage delays are caused by late check-ins, misconnected flights, short connection flights, weather, change of aircraft and some damage complaints are related to passengers improperly packing their bags, this numbers drops down from 3.7 per 1,000 checked bags… although the BTS has no statistics for this.

So… what do all these numbers mean?  It means airlines are doing a better job of moving passengers and getting travelers (and their bags) where they are going … on-time.

Happy Flying!

One Comment

  1. All they did in Febr & March was pad the schedules. United many times arrived early because their schedules were so padded.

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