There have been times when travelers have decided to “endure” airplane travel because of the appeal of cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages. The good news is that the airlines are making meaningful improvements in customer service.
Canceled flights, extended runway delays, late arrivals, and lost baggage have all decreased significantly.
In fact, in the first half of this year the airlines set an 18 year record for on time performance. Extended runways delays have dropped significantly, from 586 in the first half of 2009 to four delays this year.
The Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report released early in August found:
- The biggest 15 U.S. airlines had an almost 84 percent on time arrive rate during the first half of 2012. This was the best performance for any January to June time period in the 18 years the department has collected this data.
- Airlines canceled barely more than 1 percent of their flights, the lowest rate over the last 18 years.
- Domestic flights had only four runway delays in excess of three hours in the first half of the year.
- Airlines experienced the lowest rate of mishandled luggage since such data began to be tracked in September of 1987. Mishandled baggage rate was just under three per 1,000 passengers vs. the previous first half record low of 3.6 set in 2011.