The nation’s largest airlines reported improved their on-time performance last November, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.
The 15 reporting carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 85.7 percent in November, up from both November 2011’s 85.3 percent mark and October 2012’s 80.2 percent.
In addition, airlines reported one tarmac delay of more than three hours on domestic flights and one tarmac delay of more than four hours on international flights in November. The two tarmac delays took place on November 7 and involved flights departing from New York area airports, where a snowstorm affected the area that day. Both of the reported tarmac delays are under investigation by the Department.
The larger U.S. airlines have been required to file complete reports on their long tarmac delays for domestic flights since October 2008. Under a rule that took effect Aug. 23, 2011, all U.S. and foreign airlines operating at least one aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats must report lengthy tarmac delays at U.S. airports.
Also beginning Aug. 23, 2011, carriers operating international flights may not allow tarmac delays at U.S. airports to last longer than four hours without giving passengers an opportunity to deplane. There is a separate three-hour limit on tarmac delays involving domestic flights, which went into effect in April 2010. Exceptions to the time limits for both domestic and international flights are allowed only for safety, security, or air traffic control-related reasons. Severe weather could cause or exacerbate such situations.
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 (BTS) by the reporting carriers. In addition, the consumer report contains information on mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers, and consumer service, disability, and discrimination complaints received by DOT’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.
A news release on the Air Travel Consumer Report is available here. The full consumer report is available at www.dot.gov/individuals/air-consumer/air-travel-consumer-reports. Detailed information on flight delays is available at www.bts.gov.
The Department received 755 complaints in November 2013, down from both the 988 complaints filed in November 2012 and the 857 received in October 2013.
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