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Airline On-Time Performance Improves In April

Mishandled Baggage Reported To Be At An All-Time Low

The nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 86.3 percent in April, up from both the 75.5 percent on-time rate of April 2011 and from March 2012’s 82.2 percent rate, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released Thursday.

In addition, the reporting airlines compiled a mishandled baggage rate of 2.63 reports per 1,000 passengers, the lowest rate for any month since carriers first reported this data in September 1987. April’s mishandled baggage rate was down from both April 2011’s rate of 3.30 and March 2012’s of 3.09.

Airlines also reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights in April. The larger U.S. airlines have been required to file complete reports on their long tarmac delays for domestic flights since October 2008. Under a new rule that took effect Aug. 23, 2011, all U.S. and foreign airlines operating at least one aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats must report lengthy tarmac delays at U.S. airports.
 
Also beginning Aug. 23, carriers operating international flights may not allow tarmac delays at U.S. airports to last longer than four hours. There is a separate three-hour limit on tarmac delays involving domestic flights, which went into effect in April 2010. Exceptions to the time limits for both domestic and international flights are allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons.

The report also includes data on chronically delayed flights and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers. In addition, the report contains information on 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.

FMI: www.bts.gov

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