Wed, May 11, 2011
Number Of Cancelled Flights Also Down
March was the fourth month out of the last six that the nation's
airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours,
according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released Tuesday by the
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). A year ago, in March 2010,
the carriers reported 25 tarmac delays longer than three hours.
Carriers also reported a decrease in the rate of canceled flights
in March compared to a year earlier.
Data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a
part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration,
showed there have been only 16 total tarmac delays of more than
three hours reported from May 2010 through March 2011 by the
airlines that file on-time performance data with DOT, compared to
689 reported from May 2009 through March 2010. In March, the
carriers also reported that .0300 percent of their scheduled
flights had tarmac delays of two hours or more, down from the .0400
percent reported in February 2011.
March was the 11th full month of data since the new aviation
consumer rule went into effect on April 29, 2010. The new rule
prohibits U.S. airlines operating domestic flights from permitting
an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours
without permitting passengers to deplane, with exceptions allowed
only for safety or security or if air traffic control advises the
pilot in command that returning to the terminal would disrupt
airport operations. The Department will investigate tarmac delays
that exceed this limit.
The monthly report also includes data on on-time performance,
chronically delayed flights, flight cancellations, bumping, and the
causes of flight delays filed with the Department by the reporting
carriers. In addition, the report contains information on reports
of mishandled baggage filed by consumers with the carriers, and
consumer service, disability and discrimination complaints received
by DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This report also
includes reports of incidents involving pets traveling by air, as
required to be filed by U.S. carriers.
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