VOL. 126 | NO. 178 | Tuesday, September 13, 2011
US Airlines Curbed Delays at Peak of Summer
By SAMANTHA BOMKAMP
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. airlines curbed long delays in July and improved their overall on-time rates compared with both a month and year earlier, the Department of Transportation said Monday, Sept. 12.
Only one plane got stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours in July – a Continental flight from Miami to Newark, N.J. It was diverted to Philadelphia because of bad weather and sat there for nearly three and a half hours. It arrived at Newark almost six hours late.
Long delays had strayed into double-digits in May and June after nearly disappearing in April 2010, when the agency put into effect a rule threatening fines for these delays. No airlines have yet been fined.
The nation’s 16 biggest airlines reported an overall on-time rate of 77.8 percent in July, up from 76.7 percent a year earlier and 76.9 percent in June. Hawaiian and Alaska clinched the top spots. Southwest, which carries more passengers than any other airline, came in third.
And although airlines improved at getting passengers where were headed on time, they lost or damaged more bags. U.S. airlines reported a mishandled baggage rate of 3.71 per 1,000 passengers in July, up slightly from both June 2011 and July 2010.
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