Do you like to travel? This group is for you!Planning a trip? Check out GovLoop's Per Diem Calculator. Search by city or zip code and learn more about hotels, restaurants, events, and more, in cities across the country. We've even included links to Yelp reviews, to help you find the best places to stay, dine, or enjoy a night on the town.
April 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm #71075
Good source of information regarding airline information:
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) was established as a statistical agency in 1992. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 created BTS to administer data collection, analysis, and reporting and to ensure the most cost-effective use of transportation-monitoring resources. BTS brings a greater degree of coordination, comparability, and quality standards to transportation data, and facilitates in the closing of important data gaps.
Some of the information CURRENTLY available include:
Summary 2008 Traffic Data for U.S and Foreign Airlines
February 2009 Passenger Airline Employment
2008 Border-Crossing Data
January 2009 Airline Traffic Data:
National Transportation Statistics 2009
Airline On-Time Performance Improves In February
Key Transportation Indicators
April 30, 2009 at 12:28 pm #71079
Airline On-Time Performance Improves In February
Thursday, April 9, 2009 - The nation’s largest airlines had a higher rate of on-time flights this past February than in either February of last year or in January 2009, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
According to information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 82.6 percent in February, an improvement over both February 2008’s 68.6 percent and January 2009’s 77.0 percent.
The monthly report also includes data on lengthy tarmac delays, flight cancellations and the causes of flight delays by the reporting carriers, as well as information on reports of mishandled baggage filed with the carriers and consumer service, disability and discrimination complaints received by DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This report also includes reports of incidents involving pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.
The consumer report includes BTS data on the number of domestic flights canceled by the reporting carriers. In February, the carriers canceled 1.2 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, a lower rate than both the 3.6 percent cancellation rate of February 2008 and the 2.3 percent rate posted in January 2009.
In February, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that .00009 percent of their scheduled flights had tarmac delays of three hours or more, down from .0002 percent in January. There were five flights with tarmac delays of four hours or more in February.
Causes of Flight Delays
In February, the carriers filing on-time performance data reported that 6.58 percent of their flights were delayed by aviation system delays, compared to 8.04 percent in January; 4.79 percent by late-arriving aircraft, compared to 6.29 percent in January; 4.17 percent by factors within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems, compared to 5.09 percent in January; 0.43 percent by extreme weather, compared to 0.96 percent in January; and 0.02 percent for security reasons, compared to 0.04 percent in January. Weather is a factor in both the extreme-weather category and the aviation-system category. This includes delays due to the re-routing of flights by DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the carriers involved. Weather is also a factor in delays attributed to late-arriving aircraft, although airlines do not report specific causes in that category.
Data collected by BTS also show the percentage of late flights delayed by weather, including those reported in either the category of extreme weather or included in National Aviation System delays. In February, 43.31 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, down 7.69 percent from February 2008, when 46.92 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, and down 0.69 percent from January when 43.61 percent of late flights were delayed by weather.
Detailed information on flight delays and their causes is available on the BTS site on the World Wide Web at http://www.bts.gov.
The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.56 reports per 1,000 passengers in February, an improvement over both February 2008’s rate of 6.41 and January 2009’s 5.20 rate.
Incidents Involving Pets
In February, carriers reported two incidents involving the loss, death or injury of pets while traveling by air, compared to one incident in February 2008 and no incidents in January 2009. February’s incidents involved one death and one lost pet.
Complaints About Airline Service
In February, the Department received 576 complaints about airline service from consumers, down 38.5 percent from the 937 complaints filed in February 2008 and 34.8 percent fewer than the total of 884 complaints received in January 2009.
Complaints About Treatment of Disabled Passengers
The report also contains a tabulation of complaints filed with DOT in February against airlines regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. The Department received a total of 33 disability-related complaints in February, fewer than both the 35 complaints received in February 2008 and the total of 42 received in January 2009.
Complaints About Discrimination
In February, the Department received three complaints alleging discrimination by airlines due to factors other than disability – such as race, religion, national origin or sex – down from both the nine complaints received in February 2008 and the total of six filed in January 2009.
Consumers may file their complaints in writing with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-75, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590; by voice mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511; or on the web at http://airconsumer.dot.gov.
Consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights should call their airline’s reservation number or their travel agent. This information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents.
The Air Travel Consumer Report can be found on DOT’s World Wide Web site at http://airconsumer.dot.gov. It is available in “pdf” and Microsoft Word format.
Air Travel Consumer Report February 2009
Key On-Time Performance and Flight Cancellation Statistics
Based on Data Filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 19 Reporting Carriers
82.6 percent on-time arrivals
Highest On-Time Arrival Rates
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 91.2 percent
2. Southwest Airlines – 88.3 percent
3. Pinnacle Airlines – 86.8 percent
Lowest On-Time Arrival Rates
1. Alaska Airlines – 76.3 percent
2. Comair – 76.6 percent
3. Continental Airlines – 77.7 percent
Most Frequently Delayed Flights
1. Delta Air Lines flight 2008 from Savannah, GA to Atlanta – late 94.12 percent of the time
2. SkyWest Airlines flight 4577 from Atlanta to San Antonio, TX – late 93.33 percent of the time
3. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2424 from Cincinnati to Newark, NJ – late 90.91 percent of the time
4. Delta Air Lines flight 2028 from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Atlanta – late 89.29 percent of the time
5. Comair flight 6309 from Newark, NJ to Cincinnati – late 87.50 percent of the time
5. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2478 from Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC to Newark, NJ – late 87.50 percent of the time
Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays
1. US Airways flight 1165 from Philadelphia to Charlotte, NC, 2/3/09 – delayed on tarmac 259 minutes
2. American Airlines flight 1769 from Philadelphia to Chicago O’Hare, 2/3/2009 – delayed on tarmac 252 minutes
3. Comair flight 6631 from New York JFK to Raleigh/Durham, NC, 2/3/09 – delayed on tarmac 248 minutes
4. Comair flight 6503 from New York JFK to St. Louis, 2/3/09 – delayed on tarmac 244 minutes
5. Northwest Airlines flight 1761 from Philadelphia to Detroit, 2/3/09 – delayed on tarmac 240 minutes
Highest Rates of Canceled Flights
1. American Airlines – 2.2 percent
2. ExpressJet Airlines – 2.2 percent
3. Mesa Airlines – 1.8 percent
Lowest Rates of Canceled Flights
1. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.1 percent
2. Frontier Airlines – 0.2 percent
3. Northwest Airlines – 0.6 percent
May 11, 2009 at 11:24 am #71077
American Airlines revamps frequent-flier program
Finding flights, booking one-way or multicity travel, to be easier with new AAdvantage, officials say
By Julie Johnsson
May 11, 2009
Trying to cash in frequent-flier miles is an exercise in frustration for many airline passengers, who often have no clue why the flights they've selected are rejected by a carrier's Web site.
American Airlines is trying to eliminate the mystery with an overhaul of its frequent-flier program, AAdvantage, that should make it easier for passengers to find flights when free tickets are available, upgrade to swankier seats and create multicity itineraries, travel analysts said.
By tapping into online features expected to be unveiled Monday, customers of Texas-based American will be able to book a one-way trip for half the miles needed to claim a round-trip ticket and to combine different types of one-way awards during a single trip.
"It's all about giving our customers an easy-to-use and transparent process," said Derek DeCross, American's managing director for interactive marketing, who oversees its Web site, AA.com.
American is playing catch-up to Delta Air Lines, US Airways, Midwest and Alaska Airlines, which all allow frequent fliers to book one-way tickets. Chicago's United Airlines doesn't offer the feature, and a spokeswoman declined to say whether it intended to do so.
American's executives say their site's new features are broader than competitors' offerings.
For starters, American customers can redeem and combine one-way awards on flights operated by all of the carrier's 20-odd airline partners. American, the second-largest U.S. airline, also has created a Spanish-language version of AAdvantage.
"This will position us as the industry leader," said Rob Friedman, president of AAdvantage marketing programs.
American is trying to address the problem of online booking engines doing a poor job of navigating around dates when free travel isn't offered, or around flights where customers have claimed all seats set aside for travelers redeeming miles.
"Airlines are moving to this to counter the idea that no awards are available," said Randy Petersen, editor of InsideFlyer and known in aviation circles as a frequent-flier guru. The online reservation system "typically says no seats were available, when, in fact, seats on three out of the four flights you wanted were available."
As part of the changes, if all of the freebie seats are taken on a given flight, American's customers can upgrade to business class or use awards that cost more miles but don't carry restrictions on travel. Travelers also can link up to four one-way awards to visit multiple cities within a single trip.
"If you have the time and patience, this allows you to work through the system, work around the blackouts," Petersen said.
With more than a half-trillion frequent-flier miles on its books, American has an incentive to make it easier for its more than 62 million AAdvantage members to redeem miles.
Like other airlines, American has more empty seats to fill because of the recession. And recent accounting rule changes require carriers to set aside reserves to offset the cost of the free travel that they eventually will provide to frequent fliers.
"Hopefully, this choice and flexibility will allow more people to redeem awards, which American Airlines really does want," said Henry Harteveldt, aviation analyst with Forrester Research Inc.
But American is making its miles easier to use at a time when its savviest fliers are least likely to want to redeem them, Petersen said.
With airfare wars raging for summer travel, a time when prices usually peak during a healthy economy, many road warriors prefer to buy cheap tickets to gain or preserve premium status in a frequent-flier program that allows them to jump to the front of boarding lines and claim choice seating on flights.
"If you really want to get full value out of redemption, now's not the time to use miles," Petersen said.
Chicago executive William Baker, a longtime American customer, said he typically prefers splurging on upgrades to cashing in miles for free tickets. But it's not an issue since he has cut back on airline travel this year.
Baker added that he doesn't even look at the weekly travel specials he receives from American.
"I just delete it no matter how good the deal is because I know I won't be on the plane. I don't want to take the time or spend the money," he said.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.