Airlines Improve in On-time Arrivals, Lost Bags and Complaints

The latest U.S. government statistics are out – for November 2012 – and show a nice improvement by the airlines on an array of issues that can make life miserable for a passenger.

Best and Worst Airline Fees

Best Airlines for On-Time Arrivals

Overall, the reporting U.S. airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 85.7% during the busy travel period of November which was better than both the month before that, as well as November 2011. The following are the major airlines* with the best records (carrier’s name is followed by the percentage of flights that landed within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival time).

  1. Hawaiian 94.1%
  2. AirTran 91.3%
  3. Delta 90.6%
  4. US Airways 88.1%
  5. Alaska 87.3%

JetBlue, Virgin America Named Best Economy Airlines

Mishandled and Lost Baggage

Again, airlines showed an overall improvement in the lost bag arena from both October 2011 and a year earlier. The airline doing the best job was Virgin America with 0.61 reports of mishandled baggage per 1,000 passengers while the worst was American Eagle with 5.31 reports. United Airlines had the worst showing of the legacy carriers with 2.88 reports.

Complaints about Airlines

There were fewer than 1,000 consumer complaints about airline service in November of last year which was down nearly 25% from the month before. Southwest had the fewest complaints while United had the most.

*Mesa actually ranked number four for on-time arrivals but is not considered a major airline.


Published: January 10, 2013