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The Plane Truth

The Bureau for Transportation Statistics recently found that complaints about air service are on the wane. Nevertheless, the DOT division now offers reports on airline on-time performance, as well as delay cause statistics.

For the month of November, this active business traveler is surprised. Sure, 80% of flights are on time. But for as much hassle as it is to get information about delays and their cause while at the airport, it turns out that weather delays — those acts of the gods the airlines aren’t responsible for — makes up less than 1% of all delays. Yet delays that might rate refunds are higher than I expected:

  • More than 4% of delays stem from the air carrier themselves
  • Almost 9% result from the national aviation system
  • Late arrivals account for almost 4%

Are airlines only responsible for delays caused by mechanical breakdowns? Or are those who fly the friendly skies keeping mum for more than one reason?

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