Airline delays decline, but there’s a catch

According to a new report by the office of inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, we should be wary of statistics showing that airline delays and cancellations have dropped. The DOT’s data show that airline delays fell 33 percent from 2000 to 2012, while flight cancellations dropped 56 percent at the nation’s largest airports. But the DOT looks at flight data only from the 16 largest airlines, which account for 76 percent of domestic flights. Another reason the numbers don’t give an exact picture, the report says, is that most major airlines have increased their scheduled gate-to-gate time, giving themselves a cushion to absorb delays. In 2000, the time that airlines scheduled for a flight exceeded the actual flight time on 73 percent of routes analyzed by the office of inspector general. By 2012, this rate had grown to 98 percent of all routes.

Los Angeles Times

Airline deals can be had if you fly off-season

Expect to see airfare sales for the slow winter season. Travelers pay a premium during certain times of the year, including New Year’s, spring break, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The periods between these peak times offer some great prices, and January and February, when everyone goes back to work and school, are some of slowest months of year.

Dallas Morning News

Stronger laws to deal with unruly passengers

The number of incidents of unruly passengers has jumped from fewer than 500 in 2007 to more than 6,000 in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association, the trade group for world airlines, which has been keeping track of the incidents. The situation has prompted airlines to call for new laws to deal with mayhem on international flights. Existing laws are outdated and do not address the kind of bedlam that some passengers provoke, said Perry Flint, a spokesman for IATA.

Los Angeles Times