WASHINGTON — American Airlines had the best showing for on-time arrivals of any major airline in September, while USAir had the worst, according to a government report card issued today in a drive to improve airline performance.
According to the Department of Transportation report, 84.5% of American's flights between 111 airports during September arrived within 15 minutes of schedule.
Only 67.4% of USAir flights between 75 airports arrived within 15 minutes of schedule.
The DOT said Northwest Airlines had the highest complaint rate for lost luggage, while Pan American World Airways had the lowest lost luggage complaint rate.
Separately, the DOT said consumer complaints filed with it during October had dropped by 36% from September, perhaps because fewer vacationers were traveling. It was the second month in a row complaints dropped.
The monthly DOT report--the first to be issued in reaction to a surge of consumer complaints over flight delays, cancellations and other matters--covers the nation's 14 largest airlines and is based on data submitted by the companies themselves.
To avoid pressuring airlines to raise their on-time performance at the expense of safety, the report excludes flights delayed by mechanical problems.
In descending order, other airlines and their on-time performance were: Southwest Airlines, 82.4%; Continental Airlines, 81.1%; Eastern Air Lines, 80.4%; Piedmont Airlines, 80.3%, and Alaska Airlines, 79.8%.
Others were United, 79.2%; TWA, 78.4%; Pan Am, 74.3%; America West, 73.4%; Delta, 72.3%; Pacific Southwest, 70.5%, and Northwest, 69%.
For mishandled baggage, DOT reported 4.06 complaints per 1,000 passengers for Pan Am and 13.06 complaints per 1,000 passengers for Northwest. Ranking just below Pan Am were Southwest, PSA and USAir.