The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its January 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of November 2020. The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has resulted in significant changes to airline schedules and operations, contributing to airlines’ on-time performance and cancellation statistics in November 2020.
ExpressJet Airlines ceased operations on Sept. 30, 2020 and no longer reports Airline Service Quality Performance Data to DOT.
The 10 marketing network carriers reported 389,587 scheduled domestic flights in November 2020 compared to 374,538 flights in October 2020 and 655,072 flights in November 2019. Of those 389,587 scheduled flights, 0.5%, 2,106 flights, were canceled. As a result of schedule reductions and cancellations, the carriers reported operating 387,481 flights in November 2020, compared to 372,544 flights in October 2020 and the all-time monthly low of 180,151 flights in May 2020. Airlines operated 649,511 flights in November 2019.
A flight is listed as canceled if it was listed in a carrier’s computer reservation system during the seven calendar days prior to a scheduled departure but was not operated. Canceled flights are included in calculations of on-time arrival performance.
November On-Time Performance
In November 2020, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 91.7%, up from 90.9% in October 2020 and from 84.4% in November 2019.
Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates November 2020 (ATCR Table 1)
- Southwest Airlines – 95.1%
- Hawaiian Airlines Network – 93.6%
- Frontier Airlines – 93.3%
Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates November 2020 (ATCR Table 1)
- Allegiant Air – 86.7%
- JetBlue Airways – 89.2%
- Alaska Airlines Network – 89.5%
In November 2020, reporting marketing carriers canceled 0.5% of their scheduled domestic flights, equal to the rate of 0.5% in October 2020 but lower than 0.8% in November 2019.
Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights November 2020 (ATCR Table 6)
- Spirit Airlines – 0.2%
- American Airlines Network – 0.2%
- Frontier Airlines – 0.2%
Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights November 2020 (ATCR Table 6)
- Alaska Airlines Network – 1.1%
- Delta Air Lines Network – 1.0%
- Allegiant Air – 0.8%
In November 2020, airlines reported no tarmac delay of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to one tarmac delay reported in October 2020 and eight tarmac delays reported in November 2019. In November 2020, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in October 2020 and no tarmac delays in November 2019. Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
In November 2020, the reporting marketing carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.04 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags, a lower rate than the October 2020 rate of 3.52 per 1,000 checked bags, and than the November 2019 rate of 4.68 per 1,000 checked bags.
Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters
In November 2020, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 20,032 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 244, a rate of 1.22% mishandled, lower than the rate of 1.29% mishandled in October 2020 and 1.42% in November 2019. In November 2019, the airlines checked 62,468 wheelchairs and scooters, mishandling 887.
Bumping/oversales data, unlike other air carrier data, are reported quarterly rather than monthly. Third quarter 2020 bumping/oversales data were released in the November 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report. Fourth quarter and full year 2020 bumping/oversales data will be available in the February 2021 Air Travel Consumer Report.
Incidents Involving Animals
In November 2020, carriers reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the two reports filed in November 2019, but equal to the zero incidents in October 2020.
Complaints About Airline Service
The Department will publish complaint data for November 2020 in February 2021.
Though the number of air travel service complaints and inquiries that the Department has received against airlines and ticket agents has decreased since peaking in May 2020, the Department continues to receive a high volume of complaints and inquiries given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on air travel. The Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection is continuing to work diligently to process the large number of complaints and inquiries that the Department receives. Nevertheless, the issuance of the Department’s Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) has been delayed during recent months because of the time needed to review and process consumer complaints. To prevent a delay in release of the ATCR, this ATCR does not contain information about the number and types of air travel service complaints and inquiries received by the Department.