According to the Air Travel Consumer Report, compiled by the Department of Transportation, 2016 marked a solid year for flying. Less flights were canceled by airlines and not as much luggage was lost.
In fact, only 1.17 percent of domestic flights got cancelled in 2016, which was a decrease of about 1.5 percent from the previous year. This marks the lowest levels of cancellation in over two decades. Rates around mishandled luggage also decreased, which ultimately indicates that less flyers were left at baggage claim without their bags. According to the report, the rate was only 2.70 for each 1,000 flyers in 2016, which also marks the lowest number since the data began being tracked by the government, back in 1987.
CNN reported that while customer satisfaction surveys have always rated low, it seems airlines have been stepping up their game the past couple of years, adding routes, increasing amenities, and bringing back little things like free in-flight entertainment and snacks; this is thanks to consolidation and decreased prices around oil.
As such, another good news item from the report is the fact that passenger complaints to the Department have decreased in 2016 by just over 11 percent, when compared to the previous year. Flight were more on time in 2016; with on-time arrival rates rising to just over 81 percent, from just over 79 percent, the previous year. In fact, in December of 2016, American Airlines, Hawaiian, and Delta had the best rates around on-time arrivals. Sadly, SkyWest Airlines, Frontier, and Virgin America scored the lowest for that month.
In fact, Frontier also had the worst tarmac delays around domestic flights that month as well; with a flight to Atlanta from Denver delayed 265 minutes on the 17th of December.
Overbooked flights also improved in 2016 for passengers with tickets, where the bumping rate decreased to a historic drop of 0.62 for each 10,000 flyers.
Here’s hoping we continue this air travel momentum, heading into 2017!