Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled the Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR), which presents comprehensive airline operational data for March 2023 and the initial quarter of 2023.
The report covers essential metrics such as on-time performance, mishandled baggage, and incidents related to mishandled wheelchairs and scooters.
US Air Travel Report
The Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) serves as a valuable resource for consumers, providing insights into the quality of airline services. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains its dedication to ensuring fair treatment of airline passengers and the smooth operation of flights.
Notably, cancellations during the initial three months of 2023 have remained below 2%. It is significantly lower than both last year’s 2.7% cancellation rate and the 4.1% rate recorded in the first three months of 2022.
The Department is conducting investigations into multiple domestic airlines to verify compliance with realistic flight scheduling practices.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) utilizes data from the Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR), consumer complaints, and additional information obtained from airlines to inform its enforcement efforts and assess the effectiveness of current regulations.
In an extraordinary effort to safeguard the interests of the traveling public, DOT has taken unprecedented measures.
Notably, the consumer protection office imposed record-breaking fines last year. Resulting in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for hundreds of thousands of individuals. Additionally, since 2021, DOT has facilitated the reimbursement of over $1 billion in refunds to travelers.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed its intention to initiate a new rulemaking process. Further, with the objective of mandating airlines to provide compensation. Cover expenses for essential amenities such as meals, hotels, and rebooking in cases where airlines are responsible for stranding passengers.
Building upon two years of DOT efforts to enhance the passenger experience. The ten largest airlines have committed to guaranteeing meals and free rebooking on the same airline, with nine of them also guaranteeing hotel accommodations as part of the Department’s Airline Customer Service Dashboard.
Last week, DOT expanded the dashboard on FlightRights.Gov to highlight airlines that presently offer cash compensation. Further travel credits or vouchers, or frequent flyer miles when they are responsible for flight delays or cancellations.
If the planned rulemaking is ultimately adopted, it would make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory, ensuring that travelers receive necessary assistance when airlines cause disruptions to their flights.
Air Travel Report
In March 2023, a total of 608,387 flights were operated, representing 104.64% of the 581,434 flights operated in March 2022. This indicates a year-over-year increase of 4.64% compared to the flights operated in March 2022.
Furthermore, there was a month-over-month surge of 15.54% in March 2023, as it surpassed the 526,543 flights operated in February 2023.
In March 2023, the 10 marketing network carriers collectively scheduled 616,234 domestic flights, of which 7,847 flights (1.3%) were canceled. In February 2023, airlines scheduled 536,229 domestic flights, with 9,686 flights (1.8%) being canceled.
During March 2022, airlines scheduled 590,542 domestic flights, and 9,108 flights (1.5%) were canceled.
In March 2023, the reporting marketing carriers recorded an on-time arrival rate of 75.4%. This figure represents a decrease compared to both the rate of 79.4% in February 2023 and the rate of 77.2% in March 2022. The year-to-date on-time arrival rate for 2023 stands at 76.9%.
Here are the highest on-time arrival rates for marketing carriers in March 2023, according to ATCR Table 1:
- Delta Air Lines Network: 79.2%
- Alaska Airlines Network: 78.1%
- United Airlines Network: 76.9%
Conversely, the lowest on-time arrival rates for marketing carriers in March 2023, as per ATCR Table 1, were:
- Hawaiian Airlines: 59.5%
- Spirit Airlines: 64.0%
- Allegiant Air: 64.2%
In March 2023, the reporting marketing carriers had a cancellation rate of 1.3% for their scheduled domestic flights. This rate was lower than both the 1.8% rate in February 2023 and the 1.5% rate in March 2022.
Here are the marketing carriers with the lowest rates of canceled flights in March 2023, according to ATCR Table 6:
- Hawaiian Airlines: 0.7%
- Allegiant Air: 0.8%
- Southwest Airlines: 0.9%
On the other hand, the marketing carriers with the highest rates of canceled flights in March 2023, as per ATCR Table 6, were:
- Delta Air Lines Network: 1.7%
- Spirit Airlines: 1.7%
- JetBlue Airways: 1.6%
For the first three months of 2023, the reporting marketing carriers recorded a cancellation rate of 1.7%, which was a decrease from the 4.1% rate during the same period in 2022.
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