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Airlines Post Their Best On-Time Performance

June 07, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The airlines had their best on-time performance and least number of consumer complaints to the government in the latest aviation consumer statistics made public Monday by the Transportation Department.

The department said it received 36% fewer complaints from airline passengers in May than during the same month in 1987. For the first time in 15 months, the number of complaints dipped below the 2,000 level at 1,820.

The latest statistics show "that our attempt to instill greater accountability into the (aviation) system seems to have made a substantial difference," Transportation Secretary James H. Burnley IV said in a statement.

The department said that in April, the latest month for which on-time information was available, the 14 largest airlines had 82.6% of their flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedule, compared to 78.8% in March.

Eastern Had Worst Rate

The April figures were the best since the department began monitoring on-time performance last September and in part reflected good weather during the month, officials said.

America West had the best performance during the month with a 90.8% on-time arrival rate, followed by Southwest Airlines at 90.3%. Pacific Southwest Airlines reported 91.1% on-time rate, but that covered only the first eight days of the month before its operations were incorporated into USAir as a result of last year's merger.

Eastern Airlines, which has been plagued by labor tensions, had the worst on-time arrival rate among the 14 airlines with 75.5% of its flights arriving within 15 minutes of schedule. Pan American World Airways reported a 76.5% on-time mark.

The airlines also misplaced fewer bags during April with 6.53 baggage complaints for every 1,000 passengers flown, compared to 7.48 reports the previous month and 11.83 reports in January.

Fewest Complaints

The number of passengers bumped from flights because of overbooking also declined. There were 3.71 passengers for every 10,000 boardings involuntarily bumped during the first three months of this year, compared to 5.46 passengers during the same period of 1987, the department said.

Continental Airlines and Eastern Airlines, both owned by Texas Air Corp., were the subject of the most complaints to the department's consumer office during May.

Continental was the target of 11.43 complaints for every 100,000 passengers flown, while the rate for Eastern was 10.34 complaints per 100,000. However, the figure for Continental represented a sharp improvement over a year ago when the department received more than 21 complaints per 100,000 travelers on the Houston-based carrier.

Southwest Airlines, Aloha Airlines and Air Wisconsin had the best complaint record with less than one complaint for every 100,000 passengers flown. Delta Air Lines had the fewest complaints among the large carriers at 1.32 per 100,000 passengers.

The best arrival rate was reported at Salt Lake City, where 90.6% of the flights arrived on time during April, followed by 86.7% at Memphis and Phoenix.

New York's John F. Kennedy Airport had the worst on-time record at 67.6%, followed by Boston's Logan Airport at 67.7% and San Francisco International at 68.4%.


Overall percentage of flights arriving on time during April:


Pacific Southwest* 91.1%

America West 90.8

Southwest 90.3

Delta 85.6

American 85.0

Northwest 84.2

United 81.8

Continental 81.5

TWA 81.5

Piedmont 81.0

USAir 77.9

Alaska 77.7

Pan American 76.5

Eastern 75.5

* Based on PSA data for April 1-8; PSA was merged into USAir April 9 and subsequent operations are included in USAir results.

Source: Dept. of Transportation


Percentage of on-time flights at L.A. International in April:

Airline Percentage

Pacific Southwest* 95.9%

America West 94.8

Alaska 86.4

Southwest 85.3

Delta 84.6

USAir 82.3

American 80.3

United 80.2

TWA 78.7

Continental 76.3

Piedmont 74.3

Eastern 73.9

Northwest 70.0

Pan American 56.8

* Based on PSA data for April 1-8; PSA was merged into USAir April 9 and subsequent operations are included in USAir results.

Source: Dept. of Transportation


Flight % 15 minutes Airline number Origin/destination late or more USAir 350 Hartford, Conn./Wash. National 92.86% USAir 1874 Reno/San Francisco 90.00 Pan American 416 Los Angeles/San Francisco 90.00 Alaska 725 Long Beach/Oakland 89.47 Eastern 919 N.Y. Kennedy/San Juan, P.R. 88.00 Eastern 180 Washington National/Boston 88.00 USAir 458 Wash. National/Hartford, Conn. 87.50 Eastern 878 Washington National/Boston 87.50 Pan American 440 Miami/Los Angeles 87.50 United 898 Washington Dulles/Boston 87.50 USAir 412 Pittsburgh/Providence, R.I. 86.96 Eastern 874 Washington National/Boston 86.96 United 18 San Francisco/New York Kennedy 86.71 American 359 Orange County/San Francisco 85.71 USAir 80 Phoenix/Indianapolis 85.71 USAir 98 Pittsburgh/Albany, N.Y. 85.71

Source: Dept. of Transportation

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