Fewer complaints even though more flights running late
Published: January 14, 2014 05:13PM
Updated: January 14, 2014 05:12PM
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(J. David Ake | AP file photo) A jetliner takes off from Washington's Ronald Reagan National National Airport, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

Airlines are falling behind when it comes to keeping flights on schedule, but fewer passengers are complaining to the government.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday that 83.5 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in November, down from 84.1 percent in October and 85.7 percent a year earlier, in November 2012.

Hawaiian Airlines claimed its customary spot at the top of the ratings, with 94 percent of flights arriving within 14 minutes of schedule. Of the 16 reporting carriers, Frontier, ExpressJet and Southwest held down the bottom three spots; all had on-time ratings below 80 percent.

The 16 airlines canceled 5,082 flights in November, or 1 percent of their schedules.

There were 15 flights that were held on the ground longer than allowed by federal regulations, but all occurred after a shooting in the terminal disrupted operations at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 1.

Consumers filed 23.6 percent fewer complaints about airlines with the Transportation Department; 755 in November, compared with 988 in November 2012. The top complaint was flight problems, including cancelations and delays.

Another frequent subject of complaints was bag-handling. Virgin America, JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines had the best ratings for bags, while American Eagle, AirTran Airways and ExpressJet had the worst.

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Transportation Department report: http://1.usa.gov/1eC2U3j

Airlines rankings

Here are the federal government’s rankings of U.S. airlines for arriving on time during November:

1. Hawaiian Airlines, 93.9 percent

2. Endeavor, 88.3 percent

3. Delta Air Lines, 88.3 percent

4. Alaska Airlines, 87.9 percent

5. US Airways, 86.1 percent

6. Virgin America, 85.7 percent

7. SkyWest, 85.4 percent

8. United Airlines, 85.0 percent

9. JetBlue Airways, 84.8 percent

10. AirTran Airways, 83.9 percent

11. American Airlines, 81.9 percent

12. American Eagle, 81.5 percent

13. Mesa, 80.6 percent

14. Southwest Airlines, 79.5 percent

15. ExpressJet, 79.0 percent

16. Frontier Airlines, 78.6 percent

All 16 reporting airlines, 83.5 percent

Endeavor was formerly called Pinnacle Airlines

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation: http://1.usa.gov/1eC2U3j