Last updated: 01:29 PM ET, Sun November 20 2016

Flight Cancellations Hit All-Time Low

Airlines & Airports Rich Thomaselli November 20, 2016

Flight Cancellations Hit All-Time Low


PHOTO: As usual, Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time record. (Courtesy Hawaiian Airlines)


September turned out to be a good month for U.S. airline passengers.

The Department of Transportation released its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) for September and carriers canceled just 0.3 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, the lowest since the DOT began keeping records in January of 1995.

The previous low was 0.4 percent in September 2015.

The cancellation rate in August 2016 was 1.4 percent.

There were also no tarmac delays exceeding three hours for domestic flights, as all airlines combined to record an on-time rate of 85.5 percent for the month of September – as usual led by Hawaiian Airlines at 91.3 percent, the perpetual leader in on-time performance due to the extraordinarily good weather in Hawaii. Frontier Airlines had the worst on-time arrival rate of 71.7 percent.

The DOT also released for the first time data about discrimination complaints. From January to September 2016, the Aviation Consumer Protection Division received 67 complaints alleging discrimination by airlines – 52 concerning race, eight regarding national origin, four of a sexual nature, two regarding religion and one complaint regarding color.

The DOT said it decided to make data available for the first time to provide more transparency on the complaints.