US airlines bumped fewer passengers, lost fewer bags in 2011


US air carriers have posted all-time lows for the number of mishandled bags and bumped passengers in 2011.

However, delays and cancelations on domestic U.S. airlines flights increased slightly last year compared to 2010, according to Department of Transport figures released Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal cites DOT figures, contained in the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, as showing that:

Airlines got 79.6 percent of their domestic trips to the gate within 15 minutes of scheduled time in 2011, compared to 79.8 percent in 2010; while the number of canceled flights increased to 115,978, or 1.9 percent of all scheduled flights, from 113,255, or 1.8 percent of scheduled flights, in 2010.

Alaska and Delta scored best among major carriers in on-time arrivals, according to the WSJ; while jetBlue Airways and American Airlines were the poorest performing major carriers.

Meanwhile, according to CNN, there were 3.39 reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers in 2011, compared with 3.51 in 2010.

It cited the trade group Airlines for America as saying that was the best performance by the airlines in that category since the Department of Transportation started collecting data about luggage in 1988.

The rate of bumped passengers also reached a record low since the department started collecting data in 1995, A4A reportedly said. 

However, the number of consumer complaints against US carriers reportedly remained relatively unchanged at 7,465 in 2011.

Southwest Airlines had the lowest rate of complaints among US airlines, with just 0.32 complaints per 100,000 passengers, CNN reported. United Airlines had the highest number, with 2.21 complaints per 100,000 passengers.

Year-over-year on-time performance was steady, hovering around 0%.


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