Make us your home page
Instagram

On-time flight numbers empower travelers

Just like when big-league batters hit a homer or strike out, airlines tally a score every time one of their flights pulls up to the gate.

If a plane arrives 15 minutes or more behind schedule, it counts against the flight's on-time record. Airlines routinely report the numbers to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each month, the feds publish each carrier's overall on-time percentage.

Only the worst of the worst flights — those that run late 80 percent of the time or more — make the list of shame.

Starting this summer, the DOT will require that all but the smallest U.S. airlines disclose the on-time performance of every flight on their Web sites. Some carriers already provide this during the booking process. Others — Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and AirTran Airlines among them — don't yet.

Airline reservation agents also will give you the numbers, but only if you ask. The new rules won't apply to on-line travel sites or travel agents.

But will consumers care? Even if the flight they want is consistently really, really late?

Travelers traditionally base their buying decisions on price and schedule. Membership in an airline's loyalty program sometimes tips the scales.

Airlines, through their trade organization, argued to the DOT that a flight's on-time record isn't much value in predicting how it will perform later. More than 70 percent of flight delays and cancellations are caused by weather, said the Air Transport Association.

Still, why not give consumers the data and let them decide whether a carrier's track record on a particular route is relevant?

"We all live by our statistics," says Joe Brancatelli, publisher of the business travel website JoeSentMe.com. "If you show me six flights and their records are 20, 60 and 80 percent on time, why wouldn't I pick the best one?"

Besides listing the basic on-time percentage, the DOT will require "special highlighting" of chronically delayed flights — those that run more than 30 minutes late more than half the time.

"These delays are the kind that are likely to result in missed connections and other serious problems," the agency wrote in its final order on the rules. Armed with a chronic delay warning, consumers might book an earlier flight, pick another airline or even drive if it's a short hop.

Doesn't that sound better than sitting in some airport wishing you were home?

On-time flight numbers empower travelers 04/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida GDP growth in first quarter 2017 ranks 21st among states, still outpacing U.S.

    Economic Development

    Florida's gross domestic product or GDP rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, slightly faster than the nation's growth of 1.2 percent and placing Florida 21st among the states for growth rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Not too hot. Not too cold.

    These Jackson Square Townhomes began hitting the west Hillsborough County market late last year and continued to be sold into the first quarter of 2017. The real estate sector was the biggest driver of Florida's gross domestic product, which rose 1.4 percent in the first quartrer of 2017.  [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  2. A new app will help you find your favorite Tampa Bay food trucks

    Food & Dining

    What's new: Food tech

    Local food businesses are embracing new technologies and partnerships to bring us extra deliciousness.

    Michael Blasco of Tampa Bay Food Trucks says that everyone always asked about an app to help find their favorite food trucks. There is, available for iPhones and Droids.
  3. Another Pinellas foreclosure auction fools bidders, raises questions

    Real Estate

    For the second time in six weeks, a company connected to lawyer Roy C. Skelton stood poised to profit from a Pinellas County foreclosure auction that confused even experienced real estate investors.

    A Palm Harbor company bid  $112,300 for  this Largo townhome at a foreclosure auction July 21 not realizing the auction involved a second mortgage, connected to lawyer and  real estate investor Roy Skelton -- and that the bank could still foreclose on the  first mortgage.
[SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN   |   Times]
  4. Clearwater-based USAmeriBank acquired by New Jersey bank in $816 million deal

    Banking

    CLEARWATER — USAmeriBancorp, Inc., based in Clearwater, is being acquired by New Jersey's Valley National Bancorp in an $816 million deal, it was announced today.

    Joe Chillura, CEO of USAmeribank, shown inside a branch in Ybor City in this file photo.
[KATHLEEN FLYNN l Times]
  5. Outback Steakhouse sees growth in U.S. and Brazil markets in second quarter

    Retail

    TAMPA — Restaurant sales were up at Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill during the second quarter of 2017, but Bonefish Grill continues to lag at Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands.

    The Outback Steakhouse, on 4088 Park St. N, is showin on July 26, 2017. Restaurant sales were up at Outback Steakhouse  and Carrabba's Italian Grill during the second quarter of 2017, but Bonefish Grill continues to lag at Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]