Airlines Improved On-Time Performance in August

Just one in every five flights was late in August the government says, an improvement from earlier in the summer.

The Department of Transportation reported Wednesday that 78.8% of flights arrived on time in August. That was significantly better than the on-time arrival rates of 73.1% in July and 71.9% in June. But it was down from the 79.1% on-time rate from August 2012.

Among the biggest U.S. airlines, Delta's on-time performance improved to 85% from 74.6% in July. That was good enough for third overall behind Hawaiian Airlines (94.3%) and Alaska Airlines (85.1%).

American Airlines ranked fifth, with 81.3% of its flights arriving on time. That's a strong showing for American. In the April-June quarter of this year the airline ranked 14th out of 16 major airlines, with an on-time rate of just 72.8%.

The airlines with the lowest on-time arrival rates in August were JetBlue at 72.6%, Southwest at 73.8%, and American Eagle at 74.2%.

Carriers reported a mishandled baggage rate of 3.12 reports per 1,000 passengers in August, down from both August 2012's rate of 3.38 and July 2013's rate of 3.68.


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