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Airlines straightened up in February

April 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- U.S. airlines put together their best ever on-time performance and baggage mistake rates in February, and dropped the rate of cancellations, regulators said.

The Department of Transportation said the on-time arrival rate of 86.2 in February was better than the 74.5 percent rate in February 2011 and the 83.7 percent rate in January.

The on-time percentage was the highest since comparable records began in 1995, the DOT said.

For the month, airlines also reported 2.54 mishandled bags per 1,000, the lowest rate posted since September 1987.

In the month, cancellations dropped to 1 percent of domestic flights, down from 4.9 percent in February 2011 and down from January's 1.5 percent.

Under new rules that took effect in 2011, all airlines domestic or foreign, that operate at least one aircraft with a capacity of 30 or more passengers, must report tarmac delays of more than three hours for domestic flights or four hours for international flights. In February, no tarmac delays were reported for either domestic or international routes.

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