October Airline Service Improved from Previous Year in all Major Categories

In October, airlines improved their on-time performance while posting a lower rate of canceled flights and mishandled baggage than the same period in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report released...

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 October, 27.39 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, down from 28.09 percent in October 2012 and from 32.75 percent in September.

Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS website at http://www.bts.gov.

Mishandled Baggage

The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.52 reports per 1,000 passengers in October, down from both October 2012’s rate of 2.83 and September 2013’s rate of 2.70.

Incidents Involving Pets

In October, carriers reported four incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets while traveling by air, up from both the three reports filed in October 2012 and the two reports filed in September 2013.  October’s incidents involved the death of one pet and three injured pets.

Complaints About Airline Service

In October, the Department received 857 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 33.9 percent from the 1,296 complaints filed in October 2012, and down 15.0 percent from the 1,008 received in September 2013.

Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers

The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in October against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities.  The Department received a total of 49 disability-related complaints in October, down from the total of 58 complaints filed in October 2012 and equal to the 49 complaints received in September 2013.

Complaints About Discrimination

In October, the Department received eight complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin, or sex – up from both the total of seven recorded in October 2012 and the five recorded in September 2013.

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.

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