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Survey Says: Flights Still Late, Bags Still Lost, Passengers Still Complaining

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Terminal waitingAirlines in the United States let their on-time performance ratings slip in October, according to the latest report from the Department of Transportation.

Which carrier was best at getting their passengers to their destinations on time?

Keep reading for a breakdown of the report, and check out CBS’s The Early Show where Peter shares even more details about the reports.

The stats show that 77.3 percent of flights for the 19 airlines surveyed arrived on time in October, a disappointing drop compared to recent strides in on-time performance, including an 86.2 percent rating in September.

In the last 12 months (ending with October), Hawaiian Airlines topped the list with an on-time performance rating of 91.1 percent, followed by Southwest, Skywest, Pinnacle and Alaska.

Waiting at the airportComair ranked lowest with 67.6 percent of flights arriving on time, followed by Atlantic Southeast and AirTran. Several other notable airlines ranked in the bottom half with Continental at 11, Delta at 13, American at 14 and JetBlue at 15.

These ratings may provide some guidance, but the only way to really be sure is to look at the individual flight and route. Even airlines with the highest on-time percentages have problematic routes with frequent delays.

In general, flights arriving early in the morning or later in the evening are less likely to face delays, so make your plans accordingly.

Airtran had the fewest mishandled baggage reports, with 1.48 per every 1,000 passengers. Hawaiian, JetBlue, Continental and Frontier rounded out the top 5. Southwest, the airline that “loves bags,” finished at number 8, while American Eagle ranked lowest with 7.11 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers.

The airlines actually improved their overall baggage handling compared last year, but there were also fewer people flying during that time.

Learn more with Peter’s latest Early Show segment.

Baggage problems were only the second biggest issue for passengers making complaints against airlines in October. The most common gripe against airlines was flight problems, such as cancellations, delays or other deviations from schedule.

Southwest had the fewest overall complaints per customer while United, U.S. Airways, Northwest and Delta bottomed out the list.

You can see the entire report here. The DOT’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings puts out an updated air travel consumer report each month.

By Dan Bence for

Related Links: Department of Transportation Report Links: