On-time flights take a dip

An airline report card

The 2011 performance numbers for the airline industry are in, and it’s not all bad news for travelers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report for February shows on-time arrivals for 79.6 percent of flights operated by the 16 airlines the agency tracks. On-time performance was 79.8 percent in 2010. For 2011, Hawaiian Airlines came in first, with 92.8 percent of flights arriving on time; JetBlue Airways came in last at 73.3 percent.

The airlines averaged 3.39 reports of mishandled baggage per 1,000 passengers for the year, down from 3.51 in 2010. AirTran had the fewest (1.63), and American Eagle the most (7.32).

Among travelers who didn’t get to take a flight for which they had a reservation in 2011, 577,510 willingly gave up their seat vs. 48,128 who did not. That represents 0.81 involuntary denied boardings per 10,000 passengers. You’re most likely to get to keep your seat on JetBlue (0.01 denied boardings per 10,000 passengers), least likely on Mesa Air (2.27).

There were 35 reported animal deaths in 2011, 19 of them on Delta. Airlines also reported nine injured and two lost animals.

Read the full report at airconsumer.dot.gov/reports/2012/February/2012FebruaryATCR.PDF.

Travel tickers

BWI Marshall set an all-time yearly passenger record in 2011, with 22,391,785 commercial passengers flying through the airport. That’s 2.1 percent more than the 2010 total, which at 21,936,461 had been the previous record. . . . The new Presidents Passport program in and around Charlottesville will include deals from more than 50 establishments, including hotels, historic sites and restaurants. Info: prespassport.monticello.org. . . . The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is accepting applications for the Virginia State Parks AmeriCorps Interpretive Project. Participants will assist with work in 27 state parks. The deadline for applying is March 31. Info: www.virginiastateparks.gov. . . . Oyster.com, a Web site that lets travelers check out hotel rooms before they book, launched an iPad app this week. Download: www.oyster.com/apps/ipad-promo. . . . Want to know when your Megabus is coming? Now, as they say, there’s an app for that. Available on the iOS and Android platforms, the app lets you track when your bus is due to arrive and helps you locate bus stops. Only Midwest and Southeast routes are currently covered, but there are plans to add routes in the Northeast soon. Download the app in the iTunes store and Android Market.

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