Latest Airline Statistics: Complaints Up Despite Fewer Delayed Flights

Good news and bad news in the latest airline statistics from the Department of Transportation: More planes arrived on time, but complaints were also on the rise. The figures cover U.S. flights in July.

Fewer Delayed Flights

On-time arrival rates: As you can see, more planes arrived on time in midsummer than we’ve seen in a while.

  • July 2015: 78.1%
  • June 2014: 74.8%
  • July 2014: 75.6%

Note: No lengthy tarmac delays were reported for domestic flights – which the DOT defines as planes idling for three hours or more – but several flights experienced tarmac delays for at least two hours.

More Complaints

Complaints were up, and the majority were typical for peak-summer season, having to do with delayed or cancelled flights or missed connections. The next most popular complaint category:  Baggage.

  • July 2015: 2,164 complaints

This is an increase of 31% over July of 2014. However, it’s only 5.4% higher than June of this year. If the number of complaints seems small overall, it’s likely most people complain to the airline first, and only file with the DOT as a last resort.


Updated: September 10, 2015