Report Airlines Improve On Time Service For 2009

04.10.09 | FL News Team

flnn-depart - Departures and Arrivals

Airline passengers are leaving and arriving when expected nearly 83-percent of the time. A report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that figure is far better than the 68-percent on time record for February 2008. It is even better than the 77-percent rate for January of this year.

Some of the improvement may be due to the elimination of some routes this year. "USA Today" has put together some figures showing in February of last year there were about 569-thousand scheduled commercial flights. This year there were 488-thousand, a 14-percent drop. 

Among individual airlines, Northwest logs ten flights that had launch delays of more than three hours leading the pack. In addition to on-time flight improvements, carriers are also doing better with baggage handling. Overall, carriers report three-point-six pieces of luggage were lost or damaged per one-thousand passengers in February, about half last years rate.

Complaints about carriers are also falling. The Department of Transportation received 576 in February this year, 937 the same month last year. Overall, Southwest airlines reports an 88-percent on-time rate, the best in the business. Alaska Airlines is worst at 76-percent.