Travel Delta leads airline pack in latest on-time arrival figures
Delta Air Lines Is Bringing Back Free Food in Coach on 12 Routes
Back in the day, airline passengers used to love complaining about bad domestic airline food. But Delta customers should be happy about this development. They'll be getting fresh, relatively healthy food on long flights. -Brian Sumers— Brian Sumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Airlines are running late more often than last year, but they are canceling fewer flights and complaints are down sharply, according to the latest government figures.
Delta Air Lines had the best on-time rating, followed by American Airlines. Virgin America, which is now owned by the parent of Alaska Airlines, finished last. The ratings are for February, the latest month for which Transportation Department data is available. As such, the ratings do no include Delta's numbers from an operational meltdown that snarled its flights for nearly a full week earlier this month.
'The Points Guy' Names Alaska Air the Best U.S. Airline
In an age of extra fees and “basic economy,” not all airlines are created equally. On Monday, air travel website The Points Guy released its first comprehensive rankings of U.S. airlines. On top: Alaska Airlines. For its rankings, The Points Guy weighted each carrier's airfare (25 percent of score), route networks (15 percent), bag and change fees (10 percent), cabin comfort (10 percent), customer satisfaction (10 percent), frequent flier programs (10 percent), on-time arrivals (10 percent), lost baggage (5 percent), domestic lounges (3 percent) and involuntary bumps (2 percent). Data from 2016 was collected from commercial (e.g. Routehappy) and government (e.g.
The DOT said Tuesday that 82.6% of flights in February arrived within 14 minutes of schedule, the government's definition of on time. That's down from the 83.6% on-time rate a year earlier.
Airlines canceled 1.5% of U.S. flights in February, down from 1.6% in February 2016. Passengers were most likely to have a flight canceled on JetBlue.
The figures for delays and cancellations count only the 12 largest U.S. airlines and exclude Allegiant and some regional carriers.
Consumers filed 596 complaints with the government about U.S. airlines in February, down nearly half from 1,111 in the same month last year.
Southwest Airlines had the lowest complaint rate, while Virgin America and Spirit Airlines had the worst rates.
Only about one in 100,000 passengers filed a complaint with the government. Many more complain directly to the airlines, but the carriers are not required to disclose those numbers.
American Airlines is challenging Delta by bringing back free meals
American Airlines announced Wednesday that it will be bringing back free meals on select flights. The Dallas-based airline will be offering the meals to main cabin passengers on cross-country flights between San Francisco and New York and between Los Angeles and New York beginning May 1. Meals will vary based on the time of day, and a vegetarian option will also be available. American's move to bring back free meals comes just a few weeks after Delta announced it was reinstating complimentary meals on its transcontinental flights. And until now, the Atlanta-based airline was the only carrier offering the perk.
WATCH: How to save on travel
What You Can Get for Free if Your Flight Is Delayed or Canceled .
Traveling can be a hassle even when things go according to plan. When things do go wrong, however, a dream trip can transform into a nightmare. The well-publicized fiasco on United Airlines, in which a passenger was dragged off a plane so his seat could be used by a United employee, probably has many travelers terrified lately of being bumped from an overbooked flight. Since then, airlines have increased compensation given to bumped passengers, and they've launched measures to avoid overbookings in the first place. (Read more on what an airline owes you when you get bumped.
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