As you know, Thanksgiving occurs in November and that holiday's short travel window leads to extraordinary demands on our nation's airlines and air traffic control network. So, it's a pleasure to say that, in November 2009, U.S. airlines set a record for on-time arrivals.
As I've written on these pages, this DOT is very concerned about protecting air travelers, as passengers and as consumers. And, we've taken several recent actions toward that end. But it's only fair to report relatively positive aviation performance news as well.
The data comes to us from from our Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of our Research and Innovative Technology Administration. BTS does a great job collecting, analyzing and reporting data from all over the transportation spectrum, but I particularly like the simple boldness of their vision:
"To be the premier provider of transportation statistical knowledge"
In further positive news, BTS reports that baggage handling in November was also at its best, and tarmac delays were down.
Now, I'm not trying to say DOT is the cause of this uptick in airline performance. Nor, as with flight delays, should anyone be satisfied with any level of baggage mishandling.
One good month must not lead anyone to think our consumer protection work is done. As USA Today reports, good weather makes on-time arrivals a lot easier. December's snows may spell less rosy outcomes when BTS reports those results.
We'll let you know. And, more importantly, whatever next month's data tells us, we'll stay on the job of protecting air passengers and aviation consumers.