I’ve flown a bunch of times this year, and surprisingly most of my flights haven’t been delayed. I assume that’s due to the unusual warm weather we had this winter, and I was glad to see that in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released this week, the 15 carriers reporting on-time performance posted an on-time arrival rate of 84.0 percent in the first quarter of 2012. This is the highest first quarter performance since they started collecting the data. I’m glad to see these numbers improve, because it really is a huge inconvenience to be stuck at an airport with kids during a flight delay. Some of the other information really surprised me though!
Interested in why the delayed flights were delayed? Well, in March 4.99 percent of the flights were delayed by aviation system delays, 6.16 percent by late-arriving aircraft, 4.90 percent by factors within the airline’s control (like maintenance or crew problems), 0.51 percent by extreme weather, and 0.02 percent for security reasons.
What about bags? I always hear that travelers are afraid of losing their bags, but how many bags are really lost? In March, airlines reported a mishandled baggage rate of 3.09 reports per 1,000 passengers – not bad at all.
Guess which airlines had the highest on-time arrival rates? Not surprisingly, Hawaiian Airlines had an on-time rate of 92.5%. But, I’m surprised with #2 – AirTran Airways at 90.9% and #3 – US Airways at 87.3%. The bottom three were ExpressJet Airlines at 74.1%, Virgin America t 74.9%, and United Airlines at 77.4%.
Does this data surprise you?