Wednesday, July 9, 2008

21% of All Airline Flights in the U.S. Delayed in May 08

It should come as no shock to anyone, even though it is actually an improvement, but 21% of all flights in the U.S. for May 2008 were delayed.

U.S. airlines' performance continues to improve this year, as the rate of on-time flights in May was higher than both last month and May 2007, according to government data released Monday.

The rates of flight cancellations and mishandled baggage also declined compared to the same periods, says the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The 19 largest carriers recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 79% in May, compared to May 2007's 77.9% and April 2008's 77.7%.

The cancellation rate also improved slightly in May, with 1% of scheduled domestic flights canceled vs. 1.1% in May 2007 and 1.7% in April 2008.

Here is another shocker for everyone, can you guess who the worst airlines were for May???

Worst performing airlines. American (67.3%), United (72.4), and Continental (75.4%) were the worst performing airlines for on-time arrivals. Among large airlines, American had the highest rate of cancellations, with 2.1%.

Some other stats for May 2008 from the USDOT:

Worst flight. Southwest Airlines flight 2709 from Houston to San Diego was late 100% of the time, making it the most consistently late flight in May.

Better baggage handling. The carriers' mishandled baggage rate of 4.59 reports per 1,000 passengers in May was an improvement over both May 2007's rate of 5.94 and April's 4.99.

Fewer complaints. In May, the DOT received 885 complaints about airline service from consumers, down from 930 in May 2007 and 1,113 in April.

Best and worst airports. Salt Lake City, Baltimore-Washington and Chicago Midway were the three highest ranked airports, respectively, for on-time performance. Newark, New York LaGuardia and Dallas-Fort Worth were the worst.

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