The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released its April 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of February 2019. The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.
February On-Time Performance
In February 2019, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 73.8%, down from both the 78.4% on-time rate in January 2019 and from 78.9% in February 2018.
Highest Reporting Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates (ATCR Table 1)
- Hawaiian Airlines Network – 81.7%
- Delta Airlines Network – 77.9%
- Spirit Airlines – 77.7%
Lowest Reporting Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates (ATCR Table 1)
- Alaska Airlines Network – 66.9%
- JetBlue Airways – 70.0%
- United Airlines Network – 71.1%
In February 2019, reporting marketing carriers canceled 3.1% of their scheduled domestic flights, equal to the rate of 3.1% in January 2019 but higher than 1.9% in February 2018.
Lowest Reporting Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights (ATCR Table 6)
- Hawaiian Airlines Network – 0.6%
- Frontier Airlines – 1.2%
- Allegiant Airlines – 1.3%
Highest Reporting Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights (ATCR Table 6)
- Alaska Airlines Network – 5.8%
- Southwest Airlines – 4.6%
- United Airlines Network – 3.5%
In February 2019, airlines reported 16 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to 10 such tarmac delays reported in January 2019 and 27 tarmac delays reported in February 2018. In February 2019, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to four tarmac delays reported in January 2019 and four tarmac delays reported in February 2018. Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
Of the 16 extended tarmac times, 12 took place on Alaska Airlines at Seattle on Feb. 4, Feb. 8 and Feb. 11.
Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours (ATCR Table 8)
- Alaska Airlines flight 1633 from Las Vegas to Seattle, 2/11/19 – delayed 4 hours and 9 minutes on the tarmac at Seattle
- Alaska Airlines flight 853 from Seattle to Honolulu, 2/4/19 – delayed 4 hours and 3 minutes on the tarmac at Seattle
- Alaska Airlines flight 362 from Seattle to San Jose, Calif., 2/8/19 – delayed 3 hours and 47 minutes on the tarmac at Seattle
International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours (ATCR Table 8A)
There were no international flights with tarmac times of more than four hours in February.
Beginning in 2019, airlines with at least one-half of 1% of the total scheduled-service domestic passenger revenue for the 12-months ending December 2018 are required to report mishandled baggage data for domestic flights. Mishandled baggage data is to consist of the number of mishandled bags and the number of checked bags. Previous reports were the number of mishandled baggage reports and passenger enplanements. The Department has decided to delay the publication in the ATCR of the new mishandled baggage data in order to enable the Department and airlines to ensure the accuracy of the data, which will allow consumers to make informed choices. Inaccurate data is of little use to consumers. In May 2019, the Department plans to publish revised ATCRs for February 2019 (December 2018 data), March 2019 (January 2019 data), and April 2019 (February 2019 data) that include the new mishandled baggage data.
Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters
In February 2019, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 34,828 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 593, a rate of 1.70% mishandled, compared to a rate of 2.06% mishandled in January 2019. In December 2018, DOT reported mishandled wheelchairs and scooters data for carriers for the first time. See the April 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report for mishandled wheelchair and scooter numbers by airline.
Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly. Fourth quarter 2018 bumping/oversales data were released in the February 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report. First quarter 2019 bumping/oversales data will be available in the May 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report.
Incidents Involving Animals
In February 2019, U.S. airlines reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the one report filed in both February 2018 and in January 2019.
Complaints About Airline Service
In February 2019, DOT received 1,067 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 1.9 percent from the total of 1,047 filed in February 2018 and up 21.5 percent from the 878 received in January 2019.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
In February 2019, the Department received a total of 59 disability-related complaints, up from both the 53 complaints received in February 2018 and the 48 complaints received in January 2019. All complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability are investigated.
Complaints About Discrimination
In February 2019, the Department received 14 complaints alleging discrimination – nine regarding race, two regarding color, two regarding religion, and one categorized as “other.” This is up from the total of five discrimination complaints reported in February 2018 and the seven reported in January 2019. All complaints alleging discrimination are investigated to determine if there has been a violation(s) of the passenger’s civil rights.
Consumers may file air travel consumer or civil rights complaints online at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm, by voicemail at (202) 366-2220, or by TTY at (202) 366-0511. They may also mail a complaint to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.
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.