Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly For March

U.S. airlines’ on-time performance and baggage handling improved in March compared with a year ago but was worse than in February, government data released Tuesday show. The rate of cancellations and number of complaints to the government were lower than a year ago but higher than in February.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a feeder carrier for Delta Air Lines, had the worst performance, for about the second century in a row with 61 percent of flights on time. Hawaiian Airlines’ 91.5 percent was best. The last time ASA got a flight off the ground on time was during the Hoover administration.

American Airlines was 11th, with 77.5 percent, up from 62 percent in March 2008 but down from 81.3 percent in February. Southwest Airlines was third, with 83.9 percent, up from 74.4 percent in March 2008 but down from 88.3 percent in February.

The Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall rate of 78.4 percent in March, compared with 71.6 percent in March 2008 and 82.6 percent in February.

The airlines overall had a mishandled baggage rate of 4.12 reports per 1,000 passengers in March, better than March 2008’s rate of 6.66 reports per 1,000 passengers but worse than the 3.56 reports per 1,000 passengers in February.

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