DOT Issues Air Travel Consumer Report For December and Year 2000
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, which contains information from DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) about airline on-time arrivals, in addition to information about mishandled baggage and consumer disability and service complaints for December 2000 and cumulative data for last year.
According to the information filed with BTS, the 11 carriers reporting on-time data posted a 62.8 percent on-time record in December, not as good as either November’s rate of 72.8 percent or December 1999's 78.0 percent mark. Aloha Airlines had the best on-time arrival rate in December at 91.9 percent, followed by Continental Airlines at 74.0 and US Airways at 67.1. Delta Air Lines had the lowest percentage of on-time flights at 56.1, with Alaska Airlines ranked tenth at 57.0 and Northwest Airlines ninth at 58.2. For the year 2000, the reporting carriers had an overall on-time record of 72.6 percent, not as good as 1999's 76.1 percent mark. The 72.6 percent rate for 2000 also is the worst rate for any year since 1995, when comparable data began to be collected.
The report contains a list of regularly scheduled flights that were late at least 80 percent of the time. In December, the two most frequently delayed flights, both late 100 percent of the time, were Northwest flight 247 from Detroit to New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Aloha flight 474 from Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, to Oakland, Calif. The next most frequently late flight was American Airlines flight 357 from LaGuardia to Chicago O’Hare, late 95.83 percent of the time.
The report contains a note reminding consumers that flight delays can be caused by a variety of factors. The data on which this report is based do not identify the cause, only the occurrence, of flight delays.
The consumer report also includes BTS data on the number of domestic flights canceled by the 11 reporting carriers. In December, the carriers canceled 5.9 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, up from the 2.3 cancellation percentage rate of November. Delta had the highest percentage of canceled flights at 10.1, followed by American at 9.4 and United Airlines at 7.0. Aloha had the lowest percentage of cancellations at 1.8 percent, followed by Southwest Airlines at 1.9 and Continental at 2.6.
The 10 largest U.S. carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 8.07 reports per 1,000 passengers in December, not as good as either November’s rate of 4.96 or December 1999's 5.63. For calendar year 2000, the carriers’ rate of mishandled baggage was 5.29 reports per 1,000 passengers, not as good as the rate of 5.08 for 1999.
Complaints About Airlines Service
Consumers registered 1,285 complaints about airline service with DOT and its Aviation Consumer Protection Division in December, a decrease of just under 8 percent from the 1,392 complaints filed in November and nearly 13 percent fewer than the 1,470 filed in December 1999. For the year 2000, consumers filed a total of 23,381 complaints, a 14 percent increase from the 20,438 filed in 1999.
In addition, this report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in December against specific airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. Consumers filed a total of 37 disability-related complaints in December, a 43 percent decrease from the 65 complaints filed in November and 21 percent fewer than the 47 complaints filed in December 1999. For the year 2000, consumers filed 676 disability-related complaints, an increase of nearly 15 percent from the 589 reported in 1999.
Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, 400 7th St., S.W., Room 4107, Washington, D.C. 20590, by e-mail at by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.
The department reminded consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights to call their airline ticket offices or their travel agents. This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents. Detailed flight delay information is also available on the BTS site on the World Wide Web at http://www.bts.gov.
The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOT’s World Wide Web site at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer. It is available in "html" and "pdf" format.
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