DOT: Airline complaints fall as bag-handling, cancellations impr - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

DOT: Airline complaints fall as bag-handling, cancellations improve

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Passengers arrive at the JetBlue Airways' self-service lobby in Terminal C at Logan Airport in Boston on March 22, 2018. Passengers arrive at the JetBlue Airways' self-service lobby in Terminal C at Logan Airport in Boston on March 22, 2018.

WASHINGTON - Airlines improved the luggage handling and canceled fewer flights in April, and passengers filed fewer complaints, the Transportation Department announced Monday.

The dozen airlines that report about their baggage handling to the department had 2.39 reports of mishandled bags for every 1,000 passengers in April, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That rate is down from 2.59 in March and 2.54 the same month a year earlier, according to the bureau.

Consumers filed 1,169 complaints with the department about airline service, according to the bureau's monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. That figure is down nearly 39 percent from the 1,908 filed the same month a year earlier.

The lists for flight disruptions were topped by the usual suspects in April.

Overall, the 17 airlines that report their flight operations to the department had flights arriving within 15 minutes of their schedules an average 81.3 percent of the time in April, according to the report. That compared to 80.9 percent in March and 78.5 for the same month a year earlier.

(The number of reporting carriers shrank by one in April because of Alaska Airlines' merger with Virgin America, which is no longer reported separately.)

The most punctual carriers were Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Mesa Airlines.

The carriers with the lowest rates of on-time arrivals were JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

The department is investigating one lengthy flight delay in April because fines are possible for tarmac delays longer than three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights. An Alaska flight's departure from New York JFK to Seattle-Tacoma was delayed April 2 by 3 hours and 3 minutes.

Airlines canceled 1 percent of their domestic schedules in April, an improving from 2.8 percent the month before and 1.6 percent the same month a year earlier.

Regional carriers had the highest rates of cancelations at Endeavor Air, Republic Airline and Envoy Air.

The lowest rates of cancelations were at Hawaiian, United Airlines and Delta.

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