WASHINGTON – Airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and one tarmac delay of more than four hours on an international flight in June, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today. 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. The reported tarmac delay is under investigation by the Department.
In addition, the 14 airlines that file their on-time performance data with the Department reported that 71.8 percent of their flights arrived on time in June, down from both the 71.9 percent on-time rate in June 2013 and the 76.9 percent mark in May 2014.
The consumer report also includes data on cancellations, 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 consumer report contains information on airline bumping, mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers, and consumer service, disability, and discrimination complaints received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. The consumer report also includes reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.
The reporting carriers canceled 2.0 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in June, up from the 1.8 percent cancellation rate posted in June 2013 and 1.9 percent in May 2014.
Chronically Delayed Flights
At the end of June, there were no regularly scheduled flights that were chronically delayed – more than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time – for four consecutive months. There were 10 regularly scheduled flights that were chronically delayed for three consecutive months and an additional 92 regularly scheduled flights that were chronically delayed for two consecutive months. A list of flights that were chronically delayed for a single month is available from BTS.
Causes of Flight Delays
In June, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 7.39 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 6.04 percent in May; 10.43 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 8.18 percent in May; 7.06 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 6.04 percent in May; 0.90 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.57 percent in May; and 0.03 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.03 percent in May.
Weather is a factor in both the extreme-weather category and the aviation-system category. This includes delays due to the re-routing of flights by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the carriers involved. Weather is also a factor in delays attributed to late-arriving aircraft, although airlines do not report specific causes in that category.
Data collected by BTS also shows the percentage of late flights delayed by weather, including those reported in either the category of extreme weather or included in National Aviation System delays. In June, 37.05 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up from 33.49 in May and down from 41.80 percent in June 2013.
Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS site on the World Wide Web at http://www.bts.gov.
The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.79 reports per 1,000 passengers in June, down from June 2013’s rate of 3.81, but up from May 2014’s rate of 3.34. For the first six months of the year, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.86 per 1,000 passengers, up from the 3.22 rate for the first half of 2013.
The report also includes reports of involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, for the second quarter and first six months of this year. The 14 U.S. carriers who report denied boarding data posted a bumping rate of 1.07 per 10,000 passengers for the quarter, up from the 0.97 rate for the second quarter of 2013, but down from the 1.40 rate for the first quarter of 2014. For the first six months of this year, the carriers had a bumping rate of 1.23 per 10,000 passengers, up from the rate of 1.01 posted during the first six months of 2013.
Incidents Involving Pets
In June, carriers reported 11 incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets while traveling by air, up from both the one report filed in June 2013 and the one report filed in May 2014. June’s incidents involved the death of three pets and the injury of eight.
Complaints About Airline Service
In June, the Department received 1,396 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 14 percent from the 1,228 complaints filed in June 2013, and 9 percent from the 1,280 received in May 2014. For the first six months of this year, passengers filed 7,939 complaints, up 22 percent from the total of 6,512 received during January-June 2013.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in June against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. The Department received a total of 85 disability-related complaints in June, up from both the total of 55 complaints filed in June 2013 and the 64 complaints received in May 2014. For the first six months of the year, the Department received 395 disability-related complaints, up 28 percent from the 308 filed during January-June 2013.
Complaints About Discrimination
In June, the Department received five complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin, or sex – down from the total of six recorded in June 2013, and equal to the total of five recorded in May 2013. For the first six months of this year, the Department received 32 discrimination complaints, down from the 36 recorded in January-June 2013.
Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590; by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511; or on the web at www.dot.gov/airconsumer.
Consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights should call their airline’s reservation number or their travel agent. This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents. The information is also available on the appropriate carrier’s website.