Transport Airlines

Flyer Complaints to U.S. Government Drop 24 Percent in November

Jan 15, 2014 9:40 am

Skift Take

Year-over-year comparisons of flyer complaints and on-time arrival rates can be an unreliable metric due to one-time events like the shooting at LAX and record-breaking cold fronts.

— Samantha Shankman

Report: Social Media Customer Service in the Travel Industry

Airlines are falling behind when it comes to keeping flights on schedule, but fewer passengers are complaining to the government.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday that 83.5 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in November, down from 84.1 percent in October and 85.7 percent a year earlier, in November 2012.

Hawaiian Airlines claimed its customary spot at the top of the ratings, with 94 percent of flights arriving within 14 minutes of schedule. Of the 16 reporting carriers, Frontier, ExpressJet and Southwest held down the bottom three spots; all had on-time ratings below 80 percent.

The 16 airlines canceled 5,082 flights in November, or 1 percent of their schedules.

There were 15 flights that were held on the ground longer than allowed by federal regulations, but all occurred after a shooting in the terminal disrupted operations at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 1.

Consumers filed 23.6 percent fewer complaints about airlines with the Transportation Department; 755 in November, compared with 988 in November 2012. The top complaint was flight problems, including cancelations and delays.

Another frequent subject of complaints was bag-handling. Virgin America, JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines had the best ratings for bags, while American Eagle, AirTran Airways and ExpressJet had the worst.

Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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