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March 18, 2014

Only two-thirds of U.S. airlines flights arrived on-time in January

Snowstorms across the U.S. kept flights from arriving on-time in January as only 67.7 percent of domestic flights arrived on-time, according to the Department of Transportation.

Airlines also reported 18 tarmac delays longer than three hours, with sixteen of those delays involving Southwest Airlines flights at Chicago Midway Airport on January 2. 

The industry on-time rate of 67.7 percent was much lower than the 81.0 percent on-time rate airlines achieved in January 2013 when severe weather was not a factor. Airlines said it also canceled 6.5 percent of their scheduled flights in January, up from the 1.5 percent cancellation rate in the same month last year, the DOT report said.

Hawaiian Airlines, which operates mostly in the tropics and with flights to Asia and the West Coast, had the best on-time rate with 92.8 percent. ExpressJet Airlines had the worst on-time rate of 56.0 percent.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines posted an on-time rate of 76.5 percent, the fourth-best in the industry, which includes operations at its subsidiary, US Airways. If the two airlines had reported separately, US Airways on-time rate was 77.6 percent while American Airlines on-time rate was 75.6 percent.

Southwest Airlines ranked eighth with an on-time rate of 63.3 percent.

Regional carrier, American Eagle had the third-worst on-time rate with only 59.1 percent of its flights arriving on time. It also reported that 11 percent of its daily flights were chronically delayed, arriving late 70 percent of the time.

Carriers reported a mishandled baggage rate of 5.54 reports per 1,000 passengers, up from a rate of 3.41 in January 2013. The DOT also received 25 percent more complaints against airlines in January, about 1,700 complaints for the month.

Rank

Carrier

On-Time Arrival Rate

1

Hawaiian Airlines

92.8

2

Alaska Airlines

87.8

3

Virgin America

84.3

4

American Airlines*

76.5

5

Skywest Airlines

72.3

6

United Airlines

71.1

7

Delta Air Lines

70.2

8

Southwest Airlines**

63.3

9

Frontier Airlines

61.8

10

American Eagle

59.1

11

JetBlue Airways

56.9

12

ExpressJet Airlines

56.0

Total

 

67.7

* Includes American Airlines and US Airways figures

** Includes Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways figures

-Andrea Ahles

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