Air Travel Consumer Report: September 2023 Numbers and 3rd Quarter Numbers


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Division of Transportation (DOT) at present launched its Air Journey Shopper Report (ATCR) on airline operational information compiled for the month of September 2023 and third quarter of 2023 for on-time efficiency, mishandled baggage, and mishandled wheelchairs and scooters.

The ATCR is designed to help shoppers with info on the standard of providers supplied by airways. DOT stays dedicated to making sure airline passengers are handled pretty and flights function as scheduled. For the primary 9 months of 2023, 1.6% of flights have been canceled, far beneath the two.8% cancellation fee for the primary 9 months of final 12 months and the two.2% cancellation fee for first 9 months of pre-pandemic 2019.  

DOT makes use of the information from the ATCR, shopper complaints, and different info it secures from the airways to tell its enforcement actions and the adequacy of current guidelines.

This 12 months, DOT has already issued the biggest fines within the historical past of the buyer safety workplace based on complaints acquired. Because the pandemic started, the Division has helped return greater than $2.5 billion in refunds to vacationers. 

The Division can be enhancing shopper protections by means of rulemakings and different actions. After a two-year DOT push to enhance the passenger expertise, the ten largest airways now assure meals and free rebooking on the identical airline and 9 assure resort lodging as a part of the Division’s Airline Buyer Service Dashboard. DOT expanded the user-friendly dashboard at FlightRights.Gov to focus on which airways, if any, supply money compensation, present journey credit or vouchers, or award frequent flyer miles once they trigger flight delays or cancellations. In Could, DOT introduced plans to launch a brand new rulemaking that may suggest to make passenger compensation and facilities obligatory in order that vacationers are taken care of when airways trigger flight delays or cancellations, equivalent to staffing points or mechanical issues.

Additional, earlier this 12 months, President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg pressed airways to decide to fee-free household seating. Earlier than their urging, no airline dedicated to guaranteeing fee-free household seating. Now 4 airways have dedicated to guaranteeing fee-free household seating, and DOT is pursuing a rulemaking that may require all airways to take action. Secretary Buttigieg additionally submitted to Congress a legislative proposal to require that airlines provide fee-free family seating.

To additional help shoppers in assessing airline household seating commitments, in March 2023, DOT rolled out a brand new family seating dashboard that highlights the airways that assure fee-free household seating, and people that don’t, making it simpler for folks to keep away from paying junk charges to sit down with their youngsters once they fly.

Flight Operations

The 597,223 flights operated in September 2023 have been 104.49% of the 571,533 flights operated in September 2022. Operated flights in September 2023 have been up 4.49% year-over-year from the 571,533 flights operated in September 2022 and down 5.32% month-over-month from 630,761 flights operated in August 2023. 

U.S. Airlines Operated Domestic Flights Graph

In September 2023, the ten advertising community carriers reported 604,715 scheduled home flights, 7,492 (1.2%) of which have been canceled. In August 2023, airways scheduled 640,236 home flights, of which 9,475 (1.5%) have been canceled. In September 2022, airways scheduled 580,391 home flights, of which 8,858 (1.5%) have been canceled.

September 2023 On-Time Arrival

In September 2023, reporting advertising carriers posted an on-time arrival fee of 80.3% up from 77.2% in August 2023 and down from 82.1% in September 2022. The year-to-date on-time arrival fee for 2023 is 76.2%.

Highest Advertising Service On-Time Arrival Charges September 2023 (ATCR Desk 1)

1.    Hawaiian Airways – 88.4%
2.    Delta Air Strains Community – 84.8%
3.    Alaska Airways Community – 82.9% 

Lowest Advertising Service On-Time Arrival Charges September 2023 (ATCR Desk 1)

1.    JetBlue Airways – 60.5%
2.    Frontier Airways – 71.1%
3.    Spirit Airways – 74.8%

For the primary 9 months of 2023, the reporting advertising carriers posted an on-time arrival fee of 76.2%, down from 76.5% for a similar interval in 2022.

September 2023 Flight Cancellations

In September 2023, reporting advertising carriers canceled 1.2% of their scheduled home flights, decrease than the speed 1.5% in each August 2023 and 1.5% in September 2022. The year-to-date cancellation fee for 2023 is 1.6%.

Lowest Advertising Service Charges of Canceled Flights September 2023 (ATCR Desk 6)

1.    Alaska Airways Community – 0.3%  
2.    Allegiant Air – 0.3%   
3.    Southwest Airways – 0.6%    
 
Highest Advertising Service Charges of Canceled Flights September 2023 (ATCR Desk 6)

1.    JetBlue Airways – 3.4%    
2.    Frontier Airways – 2.0%    
3.    Spirit Airways – 1.6%    

For the primary 9 months of 2023, the reporting advertising carriers posted a cancellation fee 1.6%, down from 2.8% for a similar interval in 2022.

Complaints About Airline Service

The discharge of air journey service grievance information within the Air Journey Shopper Report (ATCR) has been delayed primarily due to the continued excessive quantity of complaints in opposition to airways and ticket brokers acquired by the Workplace of Aviation Shopper Safety (OACP) and the time wanted to evaluation and course of these shopper complaints. The Division has been analyzing how greatest to evaluation and course of the buyer complaints acquired to keep away from reporting delays. This evaluation led the Division to spend money on updating its shopper grievance utility system, which was developed in 1996, to deliver it as much as present know-how requirements. It additionally led the Division to hunt a Expertise Modernization Fund (TMF) funding to additional improve OACP’s shopper grievance and case monitoring utility system to enhance the client expertise for the tens of hundreds of shoppers who use the system every year and allow OACP to extra successfully interact in oversight of the airline trade. On September 29, 2023, the TMF introduced that it was awarding DOT an $8 million grant in the direction of this effort.  

Within the interim, given the continued excessive quantity of air journey service complaints regarding airways and ticket brokers, the Division has revised the way it processes shopper complaints acquired from June 1 to December 31, 2023. The Division will revise the ATCR to show shopper submissions (complaints, inquiries, and opinions) versus complaints for this era. The Division will proceed to show civil rights complaints within the ATCR in the same method as earlier than. 

Tarmac Delays

In September 2023, airways reported 57 tarmac delays of greater than three hours on home flights, in comparison with 18 tarmac delays of greater than three hours on home flights reported in August 2023. In September 2023, airways reported six tarmac delays of greater than 4 hours on worldwide flights, in comparison with one tarmac delay reported in August 2023. 

Airways are required to have and cling to assurances that they won’t enable plane to stay on the tarmac for greater than three hours for home flights and 4 hours for worldwide flights with out offering passengers the choice to deplane, topic to exceptions associated to security, safety, and Air Site visitors Management associated causes. An exception additionally exists for departure delays if the airline begins to return the plane to an acceptable disembarkation level to deplane passengers by these occasions.

The Division investigates prolonged tarmac delays.

Mishandled Baggage

In September 2023, reporting advertising carriers dealt with 37.4 million luggage and posted a mishandled baggage fee of 0.53%, decrease than the speed of 0.61% in August 2023 and better than the speed of 0.48% in September 2022.

For the third quarter of 2023, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage fee of 0.62%, increased than the speed of 0.61% posted in third quarter of 2022.

The Division started displaying the mishandled baggage information as a proportion (i.e., per 100 luggage enplaned) in January 2022. That is in step with the style that the mishandled wheelchairs and scooters fee is calculated and displayed.  
 
Within the prior three calendar 12 months stories (2019 to 2021), the Division calculated the mishandled baggage fee primarily based on the variety of mishandled luggage per 1,000 checked luggage. 

Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters

In September 2023, reporting advertising carriers reported checking 72,976 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 1,035 for a fee of 1.42% mishandled wheelchairs and scooters, decrease than the speed of 1.52% mishandled in August 2023 and better than the speed of 1.36% mishandled in September 2022.

For the third quarter 2023, the carriers posted a mishandled wheelchair and scooter fee of 1.40%, decrease than the speed of 1.41% posted within the third quarter of 2022.

To handle most of the important obstacles and challenges skilled by passengers who use wheelchairs, the Division has initiated a rulemaking proposing that, if adopted after public remark would, amongst different actions, make it an computerized violation of the Division’s Air Service Entry Act laws for airways to mishandle a passenger’s wheelchair. This Discover of Proposed Rulemaking would additionally improve coaching necessities for airline personnel who present hands-on switch help to passengers and deal with wheelchairs. This rulemaking is at the moment underneath evaluation by the Workplace of Data and Regulatory Affairs.

Bumping/Oversales

Bumping/oversales information, not like different air provider information, are reported quarterly moderately than month-to-month.
For the third quarter of 2023, the ten U.S. reporting advertising carriers posted an involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, fee of 0.35 per 10,000 passengers, decrease than the speed of 0.36 within the second quarter of 2023 and better than the speed of 0.22 within the third quarter of 2022.

Incidents Involving Animals

In September 2023, carriers reported two incidents involving the loss of life, damage, or lack of an animal whereas touring by air, up from the zero stories filed in each August 2023 and in September 2022.

Shoppers could file air journey shopper or civil rights complaints on-line at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm or by voicemail at (202) 366-2220, or they might mail a grievance to the Aviation Shopper Safety Division, U.S. Division of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.

The ATCR and different aviation shopper issues of curiosity to the general public may be discovered at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.

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