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Airlines' performance improves

Flights operated by the nation’s largest airlines arrived on time at a higher rate this past September than in either September of last year or in Aug. 2009, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

According to information filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 86.2 percent in September, higher than both Sept. 2008’s 84.9 percent and Aug. 2009’s 79.7 percent.

In September, the carriers canceled 0.6 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, a lower rate than both the 1.8 percent cancellation rate of Sept. 2008 and the 1 percent rate posted in Aug. 2009. 

The U.S. carriers reporting flight delays and mishandled baggage data posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.01 reports per 1,000 passengers in September, an improvement over both Sept. 2008’s rate of 3.86 and Aug. 2009’s 4.04 rate. For the first nine months of this year, the carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 3.94 per 1,000 passengers, down from the 5.42 rate posted during January-September 2008.

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