Hawaiian and Aloha remain in top spots for punctuality
Many of the nation's carriers might want to take notes from Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines when it comes to punctuality.
Bucking a trend that saw 2007 finish as the second worst year ever for airline delays, Hawaiian and Aloha -- the top two on-time airlines last year -- started 2008 in the same way they ended last year by claiming the top two spots for on-time performance.
Hawaiian was the nation's most punctual airline in January with 94.1 percent of its flights arriving within 15 minutes of their scheduled time while Aloha was second at 93.1 percent, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
And Mesa Air Group's interisland carrier go! had an on-time rate of 92.5 percent, according to company data, even though the overall company, which operates aircraft nationwide, was 16th at 68.7 percent, according to the federal report.
All in all, though, it was more of the same for the national carriers, who began 2008 on a dismal note with an average on-time performance of 72.4 percent.
The government report said roughly 31 percent of commercial flights in the U.S. arrived late or were canceled in January, up from more than 29 percent in the same month last year. Customer complaints also rose.
It was a different story, though, for Hawaiian and Aloha. They dominated all the categories, with Hawaiian first for fewest baggage-handling complaints, tied for third with Continental Airlines for fewest cancellations, and fourth in fewest complaints.
Aloha was fourth in fewest baggage-handling complaints, second in fewest cancellations and first in fewest complaints.
Mesa was 17th in fewest baggage-handling complaints, 20th in fewest cancellations and sixth in fewest complaints.
UAL Corp.'s United Airlines had the worst on-time arrival rate in January at 62 percent, followed by SkyWest Inc. at 65 percent and American Eagle at close to 66 percent.
Star-Bulletin staff writer Dave Segal and the Associated Press contributed to this report.