Record for On-Time Arrivals Set in November

Passengers holding cheap airplane tickets or discount travel packages enjoyed their trips more in November as a result of US flights arriving on time 88.6%. The previous record was 88% on time arrivals, recorded in September of 2002.

Novembers results were dramatically better than the 77.3% on time airlines recorded in October. Flights are deemed on time if they arrive no later than 15 minutes behind schedule.

Better weather in November compared to the prior month was a factor in this improvement. Poor weather was responsible for about one third of the delays in November vs. 41% of the delays in October.

A reduction in airline capacity in response to the recession is another factor in the airlines superior performance. The industry was helped by a drop in passengers that resulted in terminals and runways being less crowded. Airlines operated 22,000 fewer domestic flights in November than the prior month.

Yet another reason for this improvement is that airlines have padded their scheduled arrival times over the years, in some cases projecting an arrival time of 80 minutes even though the actual flying time is less than one hour.

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