Why Is My Plane Delayed—Again?!

If you have flown at all in 2007 then you don’t need me to tell you that airline passengers are facing the worst delays in at least 13 years. According to the Department of Transportation, so far this year, nearly one-fourth of flights on the 20 largest carriers were late.

I told you about being delayed for hours at Chicago’s O’Hare airport with my 3-year-old a few months ago—the airline blamed Mother Nature for us having to sit on the tarmac for more than two hours. But that’s not the only excuse airlines are using. Contributing to the delays, according to airline execs, is an increase in the demand for air travel. The airline industry also blames the delays on the lack of a modern satellite-based air traffic control system. And the DOT notes that the 20 reporting airlines also cited aviation system delays and late-arriving aircraft.

If you were one of the unlucky ones who spent more time on the ground than in the air you may have penned a letter of complaint to the airline or the DOT. The latter reports receiving more than 1,000 complaints about airline service in the month of June alone. That’s up 43% from the 763 complaints received in June 2006 and nearly 18% more than the total of 929 filed in May 2007.

If you have yet to book your next family vacation, the following information may come in handy. According to the DOT, the airlines with the highest on-time arrival rates are:

1. Hawaiian Airlines – 92.9%

2. Aloha Airlines – 86.8%

3. SkyWest Airlines – 77.9%

To read more about the Hawaii-based airlines check out these articles:

Flying Between the Hawaiian Islands Just Got Cheaper

Flying Between The Hawaiian Islands—Right Now Cheaper Than Dinner For Two

Making Travel History

So Where Do I Sit?

Meanwhile, the DOT lists the following airlines as having the lowest on-time rates:

1. Atlantic Southeast Airlines – 56%

2. American Airlines – 57.9%

3. American Eagle Airlines – 60.4%

As for the most frequently delayed flights, you may want to avoid these connections:

· Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4104 from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Tennessee – late 100% of the time.

· Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4176 from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – late 100% of the time.

· Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4415 from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Atlanta – late 100% of the time.

· Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4415 from Atlanta to Hilton Head, South Carolina – late 100% of the time.

· Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4854 from Atlanta to Milwaukee – late 100% of the time.

· Comair flight 5565 from New York JFK to Buffalo – late 100% of the time.

· Delta Air Lines flight 1891 from New York JFK to Los Angeles – late 100% of the time.

· Northwest Airlines flight 656 from Detroit to Newark, N.J. – late 100% of the time.

Do you have a delay horror story to share?

Related Articles:

Airline Delays—Will This Make A Difference?

“Mommy, There’s A Dinosaur In The Airport!”

Preparing For Travel Delays–Part 1

Preparing For Travel Delays–Part 2

A Place For Your Kids To Play Between Flights

Traveling With Children-More Airport Play Areas

Traveling With Young Children: More Dos and Don’ts

Traveling With Children-Learn From My Mistakes

Traveling with a 2-Year-Old

Tips To Remember When Traveling With Children

Flying with Children: Layover or Not?

Flying With An Infant

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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