“Our new airline consumer rules and our vigorous
oversight of the aviation industry are holding airlines
accountable to their customers,” U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We will continue to help
make air travel as hassle-free as possible.” Thursday’s
report follows Tuesday’s second meeting of the Advisory
Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection. The
committee, established earlier this year to advise the
Secretary on measures to protect the rights of air
travelers, will help the Department continue to improve
the air travel experience.
addition to the tarmac delay rule, the Department has
issued other rulemakings during the Obama Administration
that have encouraged carriers to improve their on-time
performance. These include a rule banning the continued
operation of chronically delayed flights and a
requirement that airlines post on their websites the
on-time performance of their flights.
The report also includes data filed with the
Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
by the reporting carriers on chronically delayed flights
and the causes of flight delays. In addition, the report
contains information on airline bumping, and consumer
service, disability, and discrimination complaints
received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
In addition, the report includes reports of incidents
involving pets traveling by air, as required to be filed
by U.S. carriers.
On-Time Performance in June - The reporting carriers
posted an on-time arrival rate in June of 80.7 percent,
an improvement over June 2011’s 76.9 percent mark but
down from May 2012’s 83.4 percent.
Cancellations in June - The reporting carriers canceled
1.1 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in June,
down from the 1.8 percent cancellation rate posted in
June 2011 but up from May 2012’s cancellation rate of
Chronically Delayed Flights - At the end of June, there
were 10 flights that were chronically delayed – more
than 30 minutes late more than 50 percent of the time –
for two consecutive months. There were no chronically
delayed flights for three consecutive months or more.
Causes of Flight Delays - In June, the carriers filing
on-time performance data reported that 4.82 percent of
their flights were delayed by aviation system delays,
compared to 4.75 percent in May; 6.98 percent by
late-arriving aircraft, compared to 5.56 percent in May;
5.62 percent by factors within the airline’s control,
such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 4.59
percent in May; 0.50 percent by extreme weather,
compared to 0.58 percent in May; and 0.04 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, 29.98 percent
of late flights were delayed by weather, down 18.31
percent from June 2011, when 36.70 percent of late
flights were delayed by weather, and down 22.19 percent
from May when 38.53 percent of late flights were delayed
Tarmac Delays in June - There were no domestic flights
with tarmac delays over the three-hour limit in June,
and one international flight with a tarmac delay of more
than four hours.
Mishandled Baggage in June - The U.S. carriers reporting
flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a
mishandled baggage rate of 3.35 reports per 1,000
passengers in June, down from June 2011’s rate of 3.59
but higher than May 2012’s rate of 2.77.
Bumping - The report also includes reports of
involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, for the second
quarter and first six months of this year. The 15 U.S.
carriers who report denied boarding data posted a
bumping rate of 1.05 per 10,000 passengers for the
quarter, up from the 0.77 rate for the second quarter of
2011. For the first six months of this year, the
carriers had a bumping rate of 0.98 per 10,000
passengers, up from the rate of 0.80 rate posted during
the first six months of 2011.
Incidents Involving Pets - In June, carriers reported
two incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of
pets while traveling by air, down from both the five
reports filed in June 2011 and the four reports filed in
May 2012. June’s incidents involved the deaths of two
Complaints About Airline Service - In June, the
Department received 1,653 complaints about airline
service from consumers, up 46.5 percent from the 1,128
complaints filed in June 2011, and up 31.2 percent from
the 1,260 received in May 2012. For the first six months
of this year, passengers filed 6,721 complaints, up 24.0
percent from the total of 5,421 received during
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 81 disability-related
complaints in June, up from both the total of 49
complaints filed in June 2011 and the 68 complaints
received in May 2012. For the first six months of
the year, the Department received 344
disability-related complaints, up 20.7 percent from
the 285 filed during January-June 2011.