So much for fewer planes equals fewer delays. A new report finds that U.S. airlines in October were late more often than in the same time period a year ago. The industry saw a 10 percent plummet in their overall on-time performance rate, according to a re monthly federal report released Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation released the bad news to the Air Travel Consumer Report Tuesday. It found that the country's 19 largest carriers were on time just 77.3 percent of the time in October.
That is much worse than 12-months ago when they recorded an 86 percent on time rating. Flights are considered on time if they arrive within 15 minutes of schedule.
This news comes after airline carriers reported several months of improvement with on-time flights. September alone saw an impressive 86.2 percent on-time rating.
So which airline was the best for on-time flights? That honor goes to Alaska Airlines, which in October saw an 85.8 percent on-time rating. JetBlue came in second with an 82.9 percent rating. The airline offender that posted the worst on-time ratings was Northwest Airlines, which posted a dismal rating of under 70 percent.
Cancellations were also up in October with 1% of scheduled domestic flights scratched. That is up from the 0.6% cancellation rate posted in both October 2008 and September.
So what accounted for most airline delays? With a whopping 41 percent, weather was to blame for planes not arriving on-time at their destination.
Other interesting notes from the report include:
• Southwest Airlines had the highest rate of mishandled luggage among all airlines. Maybe they should start charging like the rest to ensure better service of passenger’s baggage.
• Baltimore, Orlando and Washington Reagan National were ranked the best U.S. airports for on-time arrivals while Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Francisco and Atlanta came in at the low end.
Picture courtesy of Flickr member Pylon757