Airline on-time arrivals weren’t bad this September, but they weren’t as good as last year’s rates for the ninth month of the year. That’s the conclusion of the most recent report card from DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
BTS says the 16 airlines reporting on-time figures racked up an overall 83.9 percent on-time arrival rate, this compared to September 2010’s 85.1 percent figure.
Who regularly got to the gate closest to schedule? The month-in, month-out king has been Hawaiian Airlines. It was no different this time around; 95.5 percent of the airline’s flights arrived on time, as did 91.7 percent of Alaska Airlines’ flights, and 89.5 percent of discount airline AirTran’s.
Faring worst among on-time performers was discount airline JetBlue, whose primary hub is oft-congested New York Kennedy. BTS says 77.8 percent of JetBlue’s flights were on time in September. ExpressJet had a 77.9 percent on-time record, and Continental a 79.8 percent rate.
BTS doesn’t say whether the airlines charging for checked bags had anything to do with the fact that the mishandled luggage rate was better this September than last. There were 2.81 complaints of mishandled luggage per 1,000 passengers in September 2011, down just a tad from September 2010’s figure of 2.83 percent.
Finally, from the gripe department comes this news: The Department of Transportation got 974 complaints about airline service from consumers this September – up a whopping 28.8 percent compared to the 756 complaints filed the same month in 2010. If you’re looking for a sliver of a silver lining in the stats consider that the September 2011 numbers were better than those for August of this year. That’s when consumers filed a full 1,417 complaints about airline service. Looked at that way, September was 31.3 percent less of a hassle than August.
What’s your biggest complaint about airline service these days, the thing that drives you the craziest? Tell us about it.
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