September Saw Drop in Airline Fumbles

Good news for September's flyers: That month saw a higher rate of on-time flights and lower rates of cancellations and mishandled baggage by the nation's largest airlines when compared with the same period last year, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 20 carriers covered in the report recorded an on-time arrival rate of 81.7 percent in September, up from September 2006's 76.2 percent and August 2007's 71.7 percent, the report said. Airlines with the highest on-time arrival rates included Aloha, Hawaiian and Frontier. Carriers also clocked in lower scheduled-flight cancellations at 1.1 percent, compared to the previous September's 1.7 percent. Boasting the lowest rate of canceled flights in the month were Frontier, Continental and Northwest.

Finally, airlines reduced their mishandled baggage rate to 5.45 reports per 1,000 passengers that month, from September 2006's 8.26 percent. (JM)