Today's Air Travel Consumer Report has terrific news for airline passengers: During the first six months of 2012, the 15 largest U.S. airlines posted the highest on-time arrival rate for any January-June period in the 18 years the Department has collected comparable data.
The good news doesn't end there. Air carriers also posted their lowest rate of mishandled baggage for the January-June period—2.97 reports for every 1,000 passengers—since this data was first reported 25 years ago.
And, for domestic flights in the U.S., airlines reported only four tarmac delays longer than three hours. That is a tremendous reduction from the 586 extended tarmac delays suffered by U.S. airline passengers in 2009, the last year before DOT's historic tarmac delay rule. Even better, the airlines have achieved that reduction while also recording their lowest flight cancellation rate--just 1.1 percent--of the last 18 years.
That includes our efforts to make sure that all fees, taxes, and surcharges are included in advertised fares; that baggage fees are refunded if bags are lost; and that passengers are adequately compensated when involuntarily bumped from oversold flights. These are common sense rules established during this Administration to make sure that air travelers are treated with the respect they deserve before, during, and after their flights.
I have said repeatedly that the Obama Administration believes consumers have the right to be treated fairly when they fly. Today's report shows that our consumer protections are working. That's a win for the airlines that have stepped up their service and a win for America's air travelers.
For more information about your rights as an air traveler and how to prepare for your trip, please visit our Air Consumer website.