Hawaiian Airlines ranked No. 1 in on-time flights


POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hawaiian Airlines topped all major carriers when it came to on-time performance in October, but the overall industry did not fare well, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Hawaiian registered a 93.4 percent on-time arrival rate, followed by Alaska Airlines at 85.8 percent and JetBlue Airways at 82.9 percent.

But the DOT report, released yesterday, showed that the 19 carriers surveyed recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 77.3 percent in October. That was lower than the 86 percent recorded in October 2008 and below the 86.2 percent recorded in September 2009.

Delta Air Lines subsidiary Northwest Airlines was worst in the most recent period, with a 69.3 percent on-time record. Atlantic Southeast Airlines was slightly better than that at 71.6 percent, and ExpressJet Airlines was at 72.6 percent.

The DOT said that in October, 41.1 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, up from the same month a year ago when 34.5 percent of late flights had weather delays.

Hawaiian also fared well in the cancellation category, with only three cancellations out of 6,076 flights in October.

Hawaiian earned the industry's second-highest score for baggage handling in October, reporting 1.86 mishandled-baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers. Airtran Airways had the best rating with 1.48 reports per 1,000 passengers, while American Eagle Airlines had the worst with 7.11 reports.

Overall, the airlines' mishandled-baggage rate improved year over year.

The government said the cancellation rate was higher in October compared with a year ago, and the agency received more complaints about airline service than a year ago, as well.

Weary travelers have been critical of airlines' add-on fees for checked baggage and other items, delays and less convenient travel options. Carriers have been cutting back flights due to the economy and soft demand for air travel.

The most frequently delayed flight in October was Southwest Airlines Flight 3545 from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., which was late 95.5 percent of the time.