Last updated: 02:43 PM ET, Thu April 09 2015

Report: Flight Delay Picture Improves Year-Over-Year

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | April 09, 2015

Report: Flight Delay Picture Improves Year-Over-Year

It’s reporting time for airlines, as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released its tarmac delay and on-time arrival rate figures today.

Airlines reported 16 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, and eight tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in February. Nine of the reported tarmac delays involved flights departing from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on February 27 during a freak snow storm.

All of the reported tarmac delays are under investigation by the department.

Airlines operating international flights are prohibited from allowing tarmac delays at U.S. airports to last longer than four hours without giving passengers an opportunity to deplane. There is a separate three-hour limit on tarmac delays involving domestic flights. Exceptions to the time limits for both domestic and international flights are allowed only for safety, security, or air traffic control-related reasons.

DOT rules require all U.S. and foreign airlines operating at least one aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats to report lengthy tarmac delays at U.S. airports.

In addition, the nation’s largest airlines posted an on-time arrival rate of 72.8 percent in February. That’s up from the 70.7 percent on-time rate in February 2014, but down from the 76.8 percent mark in January 2015.

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