The U.S. Department of Transportation last week released its September 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of July 2020.
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 July 2020.
The 10 marketing network carriers reported 370,859 scheduled domestic flights in July 2020 compared to 237,264 flights in June 2020 and 717,684 flights in July 2019. Of those 370,859 scheduled flights, 0.8%, 2,926 flights, were canceled. As a result of schedule reductions and cancellations, the carriers reported operating 367,933 flights in July 2020, compared to 236,234 flights in June 2020, the all-time monthly low of 180,151 flights in May 2020 and 194,390 flights in April 2020.
A flight is listed as canceled if it was listed in a carrier’s computer reservation system during the seven calendar days prior to scheduled departure but was not operated. Canceled flights are included in calculations of on-time arrival performance.
July On-Time Performance
In July 2020, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 90.5%, down from the 92.7% on-time rate in June 2020 but up from the 76.9% rate in July 2019. See July Data Spotlight for scheduled, canceled and operated flights by marketing network by month.
Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates July 2020 (ATCR Table 1)Southwest Airlines – 94.5% Alaska Airlines Network – 92.5% Hawaiian Airlines Network – 91.7%
Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates July 2020 (ATCR Table 1)JetBlue Airways – 85.4% Allegiant Air – 85.5% Frontier Airlines – 87.0%
In July 2020, reporting marketing carriers canceled 0.8% of their scheduled domestic flights, a higher rate than 0.4% in June 2020 but a lower rate than 2.1% in July 2019.
Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights July 2020 (ATCR Table 6)Spirit Airlines – 0.1% American Airlines Network – 0.6% Southwest Airlines – 0.7%
Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights July 2020 (ATCR Table 6)Hawaiian Airlines Network – 4.1% Frontier Airlines – 3.2% JetBlue Airways – 2.8%
In July 2020, airlines reported 39 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in June 2020 and 58 tarmac delays reported in July 2019. In July 2020, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in June 2020 and three tarmac delays in July 2019. Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.
July Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours (ATCR Table 8)American Airlines flight 4912 (operated by Piedmont Airlines) from Mobile, Ala. (MOB) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 51 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte American Airlines flight 3862 (operated by Envoy Air) from Charlottesville, Va. (CHO) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 40 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte American Airlines flight 5075 (operated by PSA Airlines) from Syracuse, N.Y. (SYR) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 36 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte
July International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours (ATCR Table 8A)
There were no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in July.
In July 2020, the reporting marketing carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.24 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags, a higher rate than the June 2020 rate of 2.86 per 1,000 checked bags but lower than the July 2019 rate of 6.33 per 1,000 checked bags.
See the September 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report for mishandled baggage numbers by airline.
Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters
In July 2020, reporting marketing airlines reported checking 16,185 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 189, a rate of 1.17% mishandled, compared to the rate of 1.13% mishandled in June 2020 and 1.71% in July 2019. In July 2019, the airlines checked 66,740 wheelchairs and scooters, mishandling 1,143.
Incidents Involving Animals
In July 2020, carriers reported no incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal while traveling by air, down from the one report filed in July 2019 and equal to the zero reports filed in June 2020.
Complaints About Airline Service
In July 2020, DOT received 11,117 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 493.2 percent from the total of 1,874 filed in July 2019 and down 30.3 percent from the 15,946 received in June 2020. Of the 11,117 complaints received in July 2020, 10,257 concerned refunds.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
In July 2020, the Department received a total of 48 disability-related complaints, down from the 104 complaints received in July 2019, but up from the 28 complaints received in June 2020. All complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability are investigated by the Department.
Complaints About Discrimination
In July 2020, the Department received five complaints alleging discrimination – one regarding race, three regarding national origin, and one regarding religion. This is down from the total of 12 discrimination complaints recorded in July 2019 and equal to the five complaints recorded June 2020. All complaints alleging discrimination are investigated by the Department to determine if there has been a violation(s) of the passenger’s civil rights.
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