Airlines' on-time record worsened in December

  • Updated: February 9, 2009 - 9:49 PM

ATLANTA - U.S. airlines' on-time performance declined dramatically in December from the previous month but improved slightly over a year earlier, the Transportation Department said Monday.

The carriers blamed heavy snowstorms around the Christmas holiday and aviation system issues for contributing to some delays.

The department also said that the airlines had a significantly higher domestic flight cancellation rate and a higher mishandled baggage rate in the final month of 2008 compared with November's rate. Even complaints about airline service were up in December from November.

Still, the department said the airlines did a better job in all four categories in December, compared with the same month in 2007.

The airlines overall had reported month-to-month improvement in on-time performance from July to October, but slipped from October to November and again in December.

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