Airlines Post Record Best On-Time Arrival Rate in 1Q

In the first three months of 2012, the nation’s largest airlines posted their best on-time arrival rate for the first quarter of any year since the U.S. government began collecting comparable flight delay data in 1995, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The 15 carriers reporting flight delay information posted an on-time arrival rate of 84.0 percent during the first quarter of 2012, said the latest DOT Air Travel Consumer Report released today.
The previous first-quarter record was the 81.3 percent on-time mark set January-March 2002.
For March alone, the carriers registered an on-time arrival rate of 82.2 percent, an improvement over March 2011’s on-time rate of 79.2 percent rate – but down from February 2012’s 86.2 percent mark.
Airlines reported three tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in March.
All of the long domestic tarmac delays took place on March 17 in St. Louis, a day when severe storms took place in the area.
The U.S. carriers reporting both flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.09 reports per 1,000 passengers in March, better than March 2011’s rate of 3.32 – but up from February 2012’s rate of 2.64.
February’s mishandled baggage information was the best mark for a single month since the Transportation Department began collecting this data in September 1987.
On-Time Performance and Flight Cancellation Statistics
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 15 Reporting Carriers
82.2 percent on-time arrivals
Highest On-Time Arrival Rates
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 92.5 percent
2. AirTran Airways – 90.9 percent
3. US Airways – 87.3 percent
Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates
1. ExpressJet Airlines – 74.1 percent
2. Virgin America – 74.9 percent
3. United Airlines – 77.4 percent
Domestic Flights with Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours
1. American Airlines flight 2040 from Dallas-Fort Worth to St. Louis, 3/17/2012 – delayed on tarmac 219 minutes.
2. Shuttle America flight 5884 from New York LaGuardia to St. Louis, 3/17/12 – delayed on tarmac 187 minutes
3. ExpressJet Airlines flight 5157 from Minneapolis-St. Paul to St. Louis, 3/17/12 – delayed on tarmac 183 minutes.
(There were only three domestic flights with tarmac delays of more than three hours in March.)
International Flights with Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours
There were no international flights with tarmac delays of more than four hours in February.
Highest Rates of Canceled Flights
1. SkyWest Airlines – 2.7 percent
2. American Eagle Airlines – 1.7 percent
3. ExpressJet Airlines – 1.7 percent
Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights
1. Frontier Airlines – 0.0 percent*
2. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.2 percent
3. Delta Air Lines – 0.2 percent
*Frontier canceled one flight in March

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