Topic of the Week: December On Time Performance


The DOT has released December on-time performance and as you would imagine, it was awful. Anything stand out for you in this month’s report?

Click to access 2011FebruaryATCR.PDF

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22 comments on “Topic of the Week: December On Time Performance

  1. Jetblue’s performance stuck out. I had a December 30th flight that was delayed three hours because of a technical problem in Austin where the plane had started the day. Bad luck I suppose.

    1. I’d say JetBlue’s performance is becoming so routine at the bottom of the pile that it’s beginning not to stick out anymore!

      Nick – That was JetBlue’s old policy back up until the Valentine’s Day meltdown in 2007. They pre-cancel like the rest of them now. In fact, JetBlue was at the top of the list in terms of cancellation percentages in December with more than 8 percent canceled.

  2. only the usual comment – that this reporting is essentially useless because the vast majority of the majors’ poor performing flights are buried in the pinnacles, ASAs, skywests and x-jets of the world. just once, i would like to see an apples-to-apples comparison of these results with the majors having to show all their branded ops under their own banners. also, since this on-time reporting is ostensibly done by the government on behalf of the general public, it would be FAR more useful for the public to have results by branded ops since that is how the airlines go to market anyway.

    1. This goes to the greater problem that we have two types of codesharing wandering around under the same banner, the branded flying that the express carriers do, versus the fact that you can fly on Alaska branded flight on American Airlines metal..

    2. Agreed. I think I’ve written about that problem in the past as well, but I just don’t think it’ll change. At least, I haven’t heard any rumblings.

    3. To support your argument, Majors routinely take regional slots and clearance times during weather and ATC delay events. In addition, they will be the ones to request cancellations so that airports will be able to handle mainline flights better. both of these causes lead to lower performance on express carriers.

      This is also the reason MESA had grounds to sue Delta over cancelling their CPA due to poor performance (Delta requested many of the cancellations at JFK).

  3. I was looking at the denied boarding and wondering why American Eagle has almost double the Invol DB compared to the other carriers. They’re at 4.02 why the second highest is Mesa at 2.55.

    1. I see Oct-Dec 2010 number with Eagle at 2.79, tied with Mesa. Still not good. Not sure why, but it seems to be an ongoing issue.

  4. I’m actually kinda surprised at the number of flights that don’t arrive ontime early in the morning. Some airports have 30% of flights not arriving ontime in the morning when weather and other operational delays should be having the least affect.

    1. Most of the airports with morning delayed arrivals may have also had severe delay departures to outstations the day before leading to crew legality issues for the morning…

      just my 2¢

  5. Southwest’s on-time and baggage performance are not good at all, yet they rate very few customer complaints. Is that just a result of customer friendly policies and agents or are there other factors?

    1. Part of it also is because WN does a much better job at customer service when it comes to delays or other problems. I think part of the frustration with delays or lost baggage on legacy carriers is the lack of information, and the lack of anyone who seems to give a flip about the situation. I would think most flyers understand that occasional problems are inevitable, but also want the airlines to at least make an effort to keep them informed and make things more tolerable. Southwest has a better track record than the others, which probably leads to the lower number of complaints.

  6. What surprises me is that Southwest only had 67% of all flights with on-time departures/arrivals. I’m going to assume this is because of fuller flights, and the 25 minute turn time isn’t as practical anymore?

    1. That may be part of the issue, but another thing is that WN has historically been more willing than the legacies to hold flights when connecting passengers are delayed. This may be good customer service, but it’s also going to cause delays to ripple through the system. And, even if the turnaround times are part of the problem, I’m not sure what can be done about that. More and more WN customers fly long-haul routes that use a single flight number, but might make several stops along the way (an especially inconvenient truth if you fly out of DAL, and want to get anywhere outside the current Wright Amendment perimeter). You might be able to superficially cut delays by lengthening turns to, say, 35 minutes, but those folks who are continuing on the next segment aren’t going to be happy at being stuck onboard longer.

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