When it comes to air travel in the US, 2018 was a good year with fewer people getting bumped from their flight and fewer onboard animal-related incidents. On the other hand, the rate of baggage mishandling and tarmac delays increased last year.
Those are some of the findings released this week by the US Department of Transportation in their Air Travel Consumer Report for 2018.
Taking the title of most punctual airline in the US is Hawaiian Airlines, with an on-time performance rate of 88 percent, followed by Delta Air Lines (83 percent) and Alaska Airlines (83 percent).
At 77 percent, Allegiant Airlines was the most punctual low-cost carrier in the US.
The overall on-time arrival rate among reporting carriers in 2018 was 79 percent, marking a marginal one percent decline from 80 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, following the high-profile United Airlines incident in 2017 in which a passenger was violently dragged from his seat after being bumped from his flight, bumping rates reached an all-time low in 2018 at 0.14 per 10,000 passengers.
The incident spurred several US airlines to adopt more stringent overbooking and bumping rules that protect flyer interests.
Likewise, following a slew of dramatic incidents involving onboard support animals, several US airlines also imposed stricter policies in 2018, which could explain the decline in animal-related incidents last year.
In 2018, carriers reported 10 animal deaths, seven injuries, and zero lost animals for a total of 17 incidents, down from 40 filed in 2017.
Likewise, airlines carried 82,373 fewer animals last year compared to 2017, driving down the overall rate of incidents per 10,000 animals from 0.79 to 0.40.
Customer complaints were also down 14 percent in 2018, with the Department fielding 15,541 complaints compared to 18,156 in 2017.
Here are the most punctual US airlines of 2018:
1. Hawaiian Airlines
2. Delta Air Lines
3. Alaska Airlines
4. Spirit Airlines
5. Southwest Airlines
6. United Airlines
7. American Airlines
8. Allegiant Airlines