Saw this come across the news wire this afternoon. Looks like record results when measuring historical 4th quarter performance. I suspect that relatively calm weather especially in the mid west helped things move smoothly. The report cited On Time Arrivals, Baggage Handling and Bumped Passengers:

Here’s the release:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today reported the best performance ever in 2011 for three key customer-service metrics, including the best on-time arrival rate for any fourth quarter in history.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report released today, airlines also posted the lowest-ever recorded annual rates in mishandled baggage and bumped passengers.

“Our members are committed to and are delivering levels of safety and customer service that no other industry, given its complexity, matches and the airlines are working to improve on that every day, making air travel even safer and more efficient for passengers and shippers,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Airlines know how important it is for customers to arrive on time with their bags, and today’s report demonstrates the significant investments they have made in technology, training and processes to improve the travel experience.”

According to the DOT report, new records were set in three categories:

On-Time Arrivals: For the fourth quarter of 2011, U.S. airlines recorded an 85.07 percent on-time arrival rate, the best ever for any fourth quarter and the second best of any three-month period recorded by DOT. The previous fourth-quarter record was in 2001 with an 83.24 percent on-time rate. The best on-time rate for any quarter was 85.17 percent in the third quarter of 1991. For full-year 2011, the on-time arrival rate was 79.6 percent, representing the third year in a row that the industry had an on-time rate of nearly 80 percent. Mishandled Baggage: In 2011, there were 3.39 reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, an all-time low for the metric. The 2011 rate represented a 26 percent improvement from 2010. The statistic also shows that nearly 99.7 percent of U.S. airline passengers had their bags delivered on time. Bumped Passengers: In 2011, U.S. airlines reported 0.81 involuntary denied boardings per 10,000 passengers, constituting a 5 percent drop from 2010 and an all-time low.

The new data also shows that consumer complaints dropped in 2011 to 1.18 per 100,000 passengers, versus 1.20 in 2010.


Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit and follow us on Twitter @airlinesdotorg.