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Annual Airline Achievement Report Released

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the better-than-terrible dept.

Transportation 78

According to an annual report by Dean Headley, a business professor at Wichita State University, flying is getting slowly better. Lost bag reports, delayed flights, service complaints and cases of getting bumped from your flight were all slightly down in 2011. From the article: "Hawaiian Airlines did the best job of arriving on time with an average of 92.8 percent, while JetBlue Airways had the worst on-time performance, 73.3 percent. A flight is considered on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of when it was originally due. Nearly half the 15 airlines improved their on-time arrival performance in 2011, and seven had an on-time arrival percentage over 80 percent — Hawaiian, Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Mesa Airlines. The average on-time performance for the industry was 80 percent last year, just a tad better than 2010's average of 79.8 percent."

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Games airlines play (5, Informative)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549771)

The flight time listed for ATL-> RIC when purchasing tickets is about 90 minutes, but the time from takeoff to touchdown is only 63 minutes. They've padded the flight time to account for issues at the airport so that they can more often meet this punctuality window. For example, my flight yesterday took off 11 minutes late, and still arrived 10 minutes early.

Re:Games airlines play (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39549801)

How's that a "game"? Sounds like good planning.

Don't you ever leave 10 minutes early to ensure you make an appointment on time? Is that also considered a "game"?

Re:Games airlines play (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550023)

Of course not. I'm married. We always leave for an appointment precisely when the appointment actually occurs. No matter how far away.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553105)

Funny stereotypes aside, there are some men like that too. I have a buddy who really takes his time getting himself together. If we have to meet up at 4:00, we tell him to be ready by 2:00.

Re:Games airlines play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39553135)

Who said I was a man?

Re:Games airlines play (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550233)

How's that a "game"? Sounds like good planning.

Don't you ever leave 10 minutes early to ensure you make an appointment on time? Is that also considered a "game"?

Hmm... I think I'd rather that was my responsibility or risk.

The first train I catch to visit my parents used to have a scheduled time of 72 minutes. There is only one intermediate stop. It used to arrive about a minute or two early, and very occasionally five minutes late -- generally if there was a big football match at the intermediate stop's town. Now, the time is supposedly 77 minutes. However, the train still arrives at the same time -- so it's normally 6-7 minutes early.

Many people change trains at this station, and the journey planning software allows some time (5 minutes?) to do that. Previously, with a scheduled arrival of 18:00 it would recommend taking the 18:06 train to somewhere else. But, even though the first train still arrives at 17:59, the journey planner now recommends waiting for the next half-hourly train at 18:36. That makes the journey seem half an hour longer, which makes people less likely to use the train in the first place. If you actually do the journey, you get a pleasant surprise if you get there, realise there's another train leaving in a couple of minutes, and arrive 30 minutes earlier than you expected to.

I wouldn't rely on making that close connection for a job interview, a wedding, or an unflexible flight. But I could easily rely on it for work, and I'd certainly take the risk for leisure trip.

Re:Games airlines play (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550399)

So, wait, when do the trains pass each other?

Is this one extra credit?

Re:Games airlines play (-1, Flamebait)

polo ralph lauren (2609061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553735)

"Consider every organism that's ever lived on Earth. From dinosaurs to bacteria, the number is near infinite, and an overwhelming majority have their entire structures and lives dictated according to their DNA. The DNA molecule is life itself, and it's astonishing that we've only known what it looks like for less than a century.Wholeslae polo shirts: You can select Abercrombie & Fitch Polo,Abercrombie & Fitch Shirts,Polo Ralph Lauren,Ed hardy shirts,HOLLISTER A&F,Christian Audigier,Moncler Down,Canada Goose and so on.

Re:Games airlines play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39556001)

the number is near infinite

The number is infinitely far from infinite, and just as infinitely far as any other.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39555553)

How's that a "game"? Sounds like good planning.

Don't you ever leave 10 minutes early to ensure you make an appointment on time? Is that also considered a "game"?

This, I've noticed airlines padding time for a while now... I used to think it was for statistical reasons (I.E. Look, we're 100% on time) but then I took one of my regular flights against a headwind. It really did take 1/2 an hour longer (on a 2 hour flight). Airlines plan for the worst of conditions and it is a good thing.

Re:Games airlines play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39555709)

Our local trains significantly improved their "on time" performance by similarly re-defining what "on time" means. They went from 2 minutes late being "on time" to 10 minutes late being "on time."

Re:Games airlines play (4, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549927)

The flight time listed for ATL-> RIC when purchasing tickets is about 90 minutes, but the time from takeoff to touchdown is only 63 minutes.

Do they list 'flight time' or 'travel time?' Usually it's the latter - Travel time. In this scenario, time spent on the tarmac taxiing should be factored into the equation.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550163)

The flight time listed for ATL-> RIC when purchasing tickets is about 90 minutes, but the time from takeoff to touchdown is only 63 minutes.

Do they list 'flight time' or 'travel time?' Usually it's the latter - Travel time. In this scenario, time spent on the tarmac taxiing should be factored into the equation.

Yeah time spent having your life shortened breathing up diesel exhaust, taxiing around the runway an average of 10-20 minutes, should definitely be factored into the equation.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550423)

Out side of fuel bowsers, very little on the tarmac burns diesel. You're also in a heavily filtered aluminum tube. The air is cleaner inside than out.

On the plus side, once you're airborne, you get a higher dose of radiation, courtesy of the sun and a less effective magnetosphere.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550401)

Absolutely correct. The arrival time is the time the airplane gets to the gate. This allows planning for appropriate amounts of time between flights for connecting itineraries. You can have what are called legal marriages between connecting flights, with sufficient time that passengers can be reasonably expected to get from one flight to the next, or illegal ones where there is insufficient time, where the threshold is determined based on which airport, which terminals are involved, whether it is international or domestic travel, and other factors. Normally reservation systems don't allow illegal marriages, but there are ways around it if you have experience to suggest shorter connect times are possible, and the intestinal fortitute to risk it. Typical minimum connect time for a legal marriage between US domestic flights on the same carrier is 30 minutes (to the nit pickers, please note that I wrote "typcial" and that obviously there are a myriad of exceptions).

Re:Games airlines play (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550311)

The flight time listed for ATL-> RIC when purchasing tickets is about 90 minutes, but the time from takeoff to touchdown is only 63 minutes. They've padded the flight time to account for issues at the airport so that they can more often meet this punctuality window. For example, my flight yesterday took off 11 minutes late, and still arrived 10 minutes early.

Seems like good planning. The flight time (takeoff to touchdown) is 63 minutes. But the gate-to-gate time (what really matters to people) is far longer. For taking off, you have to taxi from the gate to the runway, and depending on the airport, that can involve planes queuing up before takeoff - either waiting for necessary services (like deicing) or just handling a crowd of planes lining up to use the runway. Or for very big airports, it can take 5-10 minutes taxiing!

Ditto on landing - there can be a large number of planes stacked up for landing in the holding pattern and it can easily add to another 5-10 minutes in the air.

Thing is, airlines know this - they know which airports generally have aircraft stacking up for takeoff or landings, and what times of day it can happen. Of course, like traffic, it's unpredictable. But if the airline says the plane will arrive at 2:30pm, then you can plan for that - if it arrives early, great. If it arrives on time, great as well. If it arrives late, well, hopefully you didn't need to get somewhere.

Far better to have a flight that's "on time" arriving at 2:30pm than a flight that's going to arrive at 2:00pm and be late. That 2:30pm arrival may mean you skip the 3:00pm connection and book it for 4:00pm. The 2:00pm arrival may get you to book the 3:00pm connection, then it arrives late and you're scrambling through the airport trying to make it.

And yes, "on time" is measured from gate to gate time. The same reason why you don't plan to have your car in the same block at your destination at your arrival time - you plan on being parked 10 minutes or so earlier to give you time to walk and possibly freshen up. Perhaps it takes a long time to find parking, so you schedule that into when planning your departure.

Re:Games airlines play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550487)

There is a thing called "wind" which can alter the time a trip takes.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550569)

They *need* to pad the time. For many years, airlines didn't have to report (or weren't affected by. I'm going totally apocryphal here so forgive the lack of citations) delays that were the fault of the airport / FAA. So, if a particular field could only handle 60 takeoffs per hour and they airline scheduled 75 (as was legal), those 15 flights that left "late" didn't get counted against on time performance, since it wasn't the airline that dictated how many aircraft could leave in a given window, it was the FAA. Neither did the 30 flights that left late the next hour, or the 60 after that, and so on.

I believe this game finally got stopped with the recent overhaul of rules regarding time spent on the tarmac. The New York airports were supposedly notorious for overbooking runway capacity. This would cause cascade effects throughout the system, since short haul flights would leave New York late ("not our fault") and get to say, Pittsburgh, late. They'd be late getting out of Pittsburgh ("again, not our fault"), and arrive in Chicago, late. So on and so forth until you had one flight that was late five times as it skipped across the nation. But it wasn't the airlines fault the plane was late. It was those mean old fuddy duddies at the FAA that made it a rule that an A310 can't take off 10 seconds after a 747 leaves La Guardia. *shrug* "Rules are rules."

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Brooklynoid (656617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551231)

Actually, no airlines operate 747's out of La Guardia; the 7000-foot runways are too short for normal commercial operation of 747's. I believe there have been circumstances where 747's have landed there due to weather or other issues.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551447)

Right, but you get the idea. Airlines would blame safety limits imposed by the FAA, when they had no intention of following the rule in the first place. It was a dodge.

Re:Games airlines play (2)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550835)

This is not a bad thing. It allows for people to schedule their own time more appropriately. I actually agree with this bit of logic for a few reasons. Airline passengers are forced to schedule their flights to get to their destinations, and for some that requires multiple flights or resources, so if the flight is a layover, an airlines has some wiggle room. As a passenger having some wiggle room is good too. Depending on the airport, you may miss a layover flight due to the congestion at that airport. Rides from the airport can be scheduled more safely, where passengers aren't as rushed. This doesn't mean that flights still won't be late, crap happens, but it allows for confidence to return in the airlines, which I think that they sorely need these days.

For those who are particular about every wasted moment, well you'll never be happy with this situation.

But this is just my 2 cents worth.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553161)

Is that 63 minutes for one particular flight (that you were on)? I would assume the flight time between two airports could be different depending on weather, head/tail wind, etc.

Re:Games airlines play (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554679)

Nearly half the 15 airlines improved their on-time arrival performance in 2011

That looks suspiciously like more than half were worse.

Re:Dumb Study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557173)

Considering the weather in 2011 was rather tame, (with what seemed to be through out the world) did they bother to take this into account?

You could also note the smaller commercial shit planes they use as a reason that time got knocked down!!

Hey (1, Flamebait)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549785)

You forgot to mention the free anal probes at the security line.

Re:Hey (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549987)

Considering you're paying quite a bit on Airport fees, the least you can expect is for all compulsory invasive searches to be free.

Re:Hey (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550501)

Would you be surprised if they announced charging for them?

Re:Hey (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552371)

Not at all, but let's not give them any ideas.

"Sir, I require you to drop your pants and provide a credit card, otherwise you will not be allowed through security."

Criminals all. (2, Insightful)

Tommy Bologna (2431404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549821)

This is all very nice, but when will the public stop being treated like criminals during air travel?

Re:Criminals all. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39549973)

When they've removed that pesky "the public" part of the problem of air travel. Duh.

Re:Criminals all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550071)

When the honest public replaces the criminals in the role of writing laws.

Short Flights (2)

timmans (1288762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549885)

Airlines that predominately do short flights (like Hawaiian does) would find it much easier to be on time than an airline that runs longer duration filghts.

Re:Short Flights (1)

mishu2065 (1616553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550045)

Wouldn't it be the other way around? I imagine it's much easier to compensate for a 15 minute departure delay on a long flight, than it is on a short one.

Re:Short Flights (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550341)

I was going to post something, but then I realised I didn't know what I was talking about.

All that I'm confident about is:
* It's probably more about airports
* If I ran a mix of short and long-distance flights into busy airports, I'd think carefully about which gets priority to land (if possible) when there are delays.
* If I ran an airport, with a mix of cheap and expensive airlines, I'd think about the same thing.

Re:Short Flights (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550847)

Well, I fly almost exclusively out of a small airport that makes only short flights (to neighboring large airports).

For one, there are almost never small delays, because it's simply not that busy. When the plane is ready, everyone goes out to the plane, sits down, and it leaves. The only delays you really ever see are small delays because the plane didn't get in on time (because it was delayed at the big airport it came from) or catastrophic delays because of mechanical problems (which they're not equipped to handle in a reasonable time frame).

For another, they pad the hell out of the time allocated for short flights. The flights almost always arrive 15 minutes early because of this.

Re:Short Flights (1)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550135)

Airlines that predominately do short flights (like Hawaiian does) would find it much easier to be on time than an airline that runs longer duration filghts.

How so? Skywest flies mostly short routes and they had an on-time performance of 79.3%. The airport is where planes get delayed, not in between destinations. A 12 hour flight with the plane on auto-pilot would be a lot more predictable than dealing with an airport/passengers/bags >1 times in the same length of time.

Is a six hour flight short? (1)

Yo_mama (72429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551157)

Actually, I think Hawaiian has it a bit easier for a number of reasons. They actually fly LONGER flights, and so their aircraft are usually only slotted to fly one round-trip each day. Compare that to a flight that might visit four or more airports in a day, there's less chance for delays to creep in. Additionally, they largely fly on the west coast, out over the ocean, where there are less weather issues than, say, the eastern US with the higher traffic and higher chances of snow and thunderstorms.

Re:Is a six hour flight short? (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552477)

Hawaiian has two distinct types of flights: The very short inter-island flights that max out around 40-45 minutes (Honolulu-Hilo), and the Trans-Pacific flights to the west coast (and soon New York) and international destinations that start at around 4.5 hours (Honolulu-San Francisco).

The inter-island network has pretty high on-time reliability, but problems can have a big impact. With the number of flights an aircraft performs each day, a significant delay early in the morning can cause delays on several other flights throughout the day that that particular aircraft is scheduled to fly (referred to in the industry as a "line of flying").

The Trans-Pacific network is more delay prone, but since it's a fewer number of flights overall, it's impact on percentage based statistics is less. Most of Hawaiian's Trans-Pacific fleet will start the morning in a west coast city, fly to Honolulu, then turn around and fly back to the west coast and spend the night (I haven't looked closely at the international schedule to see how that works in the scheduling). A late arrival on the west coast can delay the following morning's flight if the same crew is due to fly back to Honolulu, in order to allow the crew to meet their rest requirements.

Re:Short Flights (1)

boaworm (180781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553389)

The easiest way to fix the numbers is to do what Scandinavian (SAS) did. They went from one of the worst to the best in Europe by simply estimating their normal departure a bit later, was something like 20-30 minutes IIRC.

To their defense, they were overly optimistic compared to other airlines before the change and are now more on-par with other european airlines. This just shows how statistics can be made to show roughly what you want, when you want it :-)

Bag Fees = Fewer Lost Bag (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39549887)

Lost bags are down, not because the airlines are getting better (or the panty sniffers in TSA aren't stealing your junk) but because fewer people are checking bags because of stupidly high bag check fees.

Re:Bag Fees = Fewer Lost Bag (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550139)

And "service complaints" are down because 1) airlines have set expectations so low that as long as you arrive alive you are thankful for the flight, and 2) after being mugged by the TSA the surly gate agent seems downright hospitable.

On Time (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39549995)

considered on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of when it was originally due.

I tried to explain this to my boss when he complained that I show up 14 minutes late every day.

Seriously though, why do they not simply report X percent arrived within 15 minutes of due time?

Bah! All lies... (4, Insightful)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550067)

Flown lately? It sucks. It sucks so much that if you manage to get from one place to another without a *major* fiasco, you keep your mouth shut. Just because expectations have been lowered to the basement, doesn't mean things are getting better. More like passengers are just feeling more powerless and complaining less. As for on-time arrivals and all that...wow nice. Probably not as difficult, since they've gutted most routes to bare minimum and use sophisticated software to keep planes packed like sardines. Sorry, but air travel sucks and no report of marginal statistical improvement will change anybody's view on that.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552081)

Flown lately?

Yep, lots. I feel pretty confident in stating I likely fly far more frequently than you.

And I don't experience a "major fiasco" on any kind of a regular basis. Maybe I'm lucky, but I should be having a lot of problems to justify your comments. For reference, I'm flying out of PHL, one of the busiest airports in the U.S.

Re:Bah! All lies... (2)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552285)

Flown lately?

Yep, lots. I feel pretty confident in stating I likely fly far more frequently than you.

And I don't experience a "major fiasco" on any kind of a regular basis. Maybe I'm lucky, but I should be having a lot of problems to justify your comments. For reference, I'm flying out of PHL, one of the busiest airports in the U.S.

Glad you enjoy it. Most people think it sucks and has gotten worse over the years, not better. The fact that you fly more and don't hate it says more about the human ability to adapt to unpleasant situations than that flying doesn't blow. it blows, it blows more and more every year and you're nearly the only person I've ever heard, outside airline executives that doesn't agree. And if you want stats, here's a nice link http://articles.cnn.com/2011-06-21/travel/customer.satisfaction.airlines.hotels_1_passenger-satisfaction-claes-fornell-american-customer-satisfaction-index?_s=PM:TRAVEL [cnn.com] Airlines score lowest in customer satisfaction. duh.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552519)

I didn't say I enjoy it; I said I don't experience big problems on anything like the sort of regular basis you are suggesting most people do.

The link you post is discussing factors that by and large don't apply to me - the vast majority of my flying is for business, so someone else books and pays for me, so I don't really care about the prices.

I also don't pay bag fees - my trips are of short duration, so I always take a carry-on bag. However, that frequently has to be checked as the airplane is full. So I'm at risk of lost baggage, but again I've been lucky and not had that problem.

Re:Bah! All lies... (0)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552617)

I didn't say I enjoy it; I said I don't experience big problems on anything like the sort of regular basis you are suggesting most people do.

The link you post is discussing factors that by and large don't apply to me - the vast majority of my flying is for business, so someone else books and pays for me, so I don't really care about the prices.

I also don't pay bag fees - my trips are of short duration, so I always take a carry-on bag. However, that frequently has to be checked as the airplane is full. So I'm at risk of lost baggage, but again I've been lucky and not had that problem.

Aren't you special? Out of 47 industries, airlines are last. That's behind Pharma, Banking, Oil, Internet (Comcast), Agrobusiness (Monsanto)...yeah, last. I'm glad you're having a grand old time, but you're in the minority. Sorry, just not going along with you on this one. Airlines suck. The entire experience is needlessly sucky. The "flight attendants" suck. The service sucks. There's a reason they came in....again LAST out of 47 entire industries. That's from mid 2011. Things have not gotten that much better since then. I get on those things and can't get a bloody mary in FAST enough..and are they ever slow and surly delivering them. I don't know that I completely blame the airlines...if people were willing to pay more than $300 for a RT ticket, things might improve, but they aren't and airlines haven't adapted. So, not blaming anyone in particular, but flying, a thing that could be fun as all get out, is reduced to the worst experience outside discovering a lump.

Re:Bah! All lies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39553101)

Flying is still fun outside of the US.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39555409)

Gee whiz, whence the hostility? I don't think I'm special; unusual, possibly, in my travel profile. Then again, I don't think so; I'm going to speculate the vast majority of air travel is done on business purposes by people travelling for between one and five days. But that's really pure speculation on my part, and in any case my description is just intended to give some thoughts as to why I may not be as angry or disillusioned with air travel as some other people.

I get on those things and can't get a bloody mary in FAST enough..and are they ever slow and surly delivering them.

Shrug...I've never encountered a slow or surly attendant. Sure, some of them are harried, but I'm constantly surprised at just how chipper most of them are. Possibly they react differently if they encounter a passenger who's predisposed to be annoyed and grumpy at everything?

I don't know that I completely blame the airlines...if people were willing to pay more than $300 for a RT ticket...

We agree. One of the comments in that link you posted was that people are angry about fuel prices. I suspect the airline bean counters aren't terribly chuffed about them, either, but there's not much they can do about it.

Unfortunately, airlines can't please everyone, and they are stuck with a population that wants everything, demands luxury and drinks flowing and abundant goodies, but gets irate at so-called outrageous ticket prices. (If you fly a lot, or are quite wealthy, you can mitigate much of the aggravation by utilizing airline lounges and flying business or first class, but of course most people aren't in that position.) It's a devil of a position to be in for cash-strapped airlines with increasing costs for regulatory compliance, unpredictable fuel costs thanks to political instability, uncertain weather impacts, and so on...

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552685)

I didn't say I enjoy it; I said I don't experience big problems on anything like the sort of regular basis you are suggesting most people do.

The link you post is discussing factors that by and large don't apply to me - the vast majority of my flying is for business, so someone else books and pays for me, so I don't really care about the prices.

I also don't pay bag fees - my trips are of short duration, so I always take a carry-on bag. However, that frequently has to be checked as the airplane is full. So I'm at risk of lost baggage, but again I've been lucky and not had that problem.

And BTW, I didn't "imply" most people experience "major" problems. if I was implying anything, it was that a LACK of "major problems" is behind any mediocre increase in satisfaction, not that the experience has somehow gotten better. So they don't completely screw up and lose your luggage..does that make it a good experience? No. It's just that the airline employess make it EVER so clear that they don't give a flying shit about you, that you'd not bother complaining and that's why complaints are down. Has nothing to do with a customer focus, has more to do with customer hopelessness. Wasn't implying major problems happen all the time, if anything, I'd say those types of problems are down. Probably due to some programmer slaving away making smarter software and nothing their lame service employees do.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554169)

Most people think it sucks and has gotten worse over the years, not better

That's because 'most people' are idiots with selective memories - Sure, security sucks and there is no free food, but people also forget that in the 'good old days' all the airfares were regulated. There was no shopping around for a good deal because all fares were exactly the same across all the airlines - And air travel was EXPENSIVE - Tickets today, on average, cost less than half of what they did in the 'good ol' days' (indexed to inflation.) If you want a good non-sucky experience, buy a business class ticket. You'll get a big chair, free food and all the perks, and still pay less than you would have back in the day.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554227)

Most people think it sucks and has gotten worse over the years, not better

That's because 'most people' are idiots with selective memories - Sure, security sucks and there is no free food, but people also forget that in the 'good old days' all the airfares were regulated. There was no shopping around for a good deal because all fares were exactly the same across all the airlines - And air travel was EXPENSIVE - Tickets today, on average, cost less than half of what they did in the 'good ol' days' (indexed to inflation.) If you want a good non-sucky experience, buy a business class ticket. You'll get a big chair, free food and all the perks, and still pay less than you would have back in the day.

Yeah, I mentioned "people don't want to pay more than $300 RT and maybe that's the cause". Wasn't assigning blame. Got anything I don't already know?

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554071)

Flown lately? It sucks

Flown 40 years ago? It sucked. Airfares were hugely more expensive than they are today. Today, a family can easily fly to visit Grandma. A generation ago they would never have been able to afford it.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554261)

Flown lately? It sucks

Flown 40 years ago? It sucked. Airfares were hugely more expensive than they are today. Today, a family can easily fly to visit Grandma. A generation ago they would never have been able to afford it.

That's fine and flying still sucks. Plenty of costs have come down. Buy a microwave 30 years ago? A radio? Just because airlines haven't especially benefitted from globilization doesn't make it a fun experience and I don't care that poor people can go to Jamaica now. Do you know how annoying they are to travel with anyway? Hardly the point. Flying sucks and I don't care why they just need to fix it. Charge more then...maybe then I'd not do anything in my power to avoid it. And I shouldn't have to choose between $1k RT to europe in hell or $7500. How about $2500 and everybody can have some fucking leg room?

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554481)

How about $2500 and everybody can have some fucking leg room?

http://www.britishairways.com/travel/world-traveller-plus/public/en_us [britishairways.com]

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39555043)

How about $2500 and everybody can have some fucking leg room?

http://www.britishairways.com/travel/world-traveller-plus/public/en_us [britishairways.com]

The submission was of US based carriers.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554379)

Flown lately?

Yes.
 

It sucks so much that if you manage to get from one place to another without a *major* fiasco, you keep your mouth shut.

Translation: I not only don't have an argument, my mind is already made up and I'm not interested in hearing anything that fails to meet my preconceived notions.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554577)

Flown lately?

Yes.

It sucks so much that if you manage to get from one place to another without a *major* fiasco, you keep your mouth shut.

Translation: I not only don't have an argument, my mind is already made up and I'm not interested in hearing anything that fails to meet my preconceived notions.

Uh WRONG. Beacuse some industry rag did a "study" doesn't negate the experience of millions of users. The airline industry is 47th of 47 industries in customer satisfaction. That was the /. submission. I suppose they had nowhere to go but up from 47th, but forgive me if I'm one of the MAJORITY who says they suck. They fucking suck. Pile on all you want, but nearly every thinking person agrees they suck and the entire experience sucks. Yeah, I'm not listening to you schmucks because you're wrong and in a very small minority of people who apparently enjoy the ass fucking that is air travel.

Re:Bah! All lies... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554667)

Flown lately? It sucks. It sucks so much that if you manage to get from one place to another without a *major* fiasco, you keep your mouth shut.

Yes I've flown lately. I'm not quite a frequent flyer, but I do fly a lot. It doesn't suck. With a couple of exceptions almost EVERY delay I've had in the past few years has been due to weather. I did have a big issue on a small airline overseas. It had one flight a day, and apparently their plane had major mechanical issues. It was only after I told them I'd fly another airline, that they told me their plane could be out of commission for days.
But I've rarely had a minor fiasco, let alone a major one.
Of course I am talking about the airlines and the flights. Not the stupid security theatre.

Analyzing the wrong statistics (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550073)

This report looks at almost none of the statistics that I care about when flying. IDBs are rare enough that doubling or halving the rate doesn't matter to me, I've never been IDB'd. I rarely care if my flight is 15-20 minutes late getting to my final destination. The time to wait for checked bags, get a taxi, get through customs/immigration usually vary more than that anyways. I do get royally pissed off, though, if I have to make a connecting flight, and the later flight leaves on time when the earlier flight is late, stranding me for hours. How about some statistics on that? When a airline runs a route, say, back and forth between Chicago and Newark several times a day, if the route falls behind early in the day, instead of progressively letting the later flights run late, they'll just cancel a flight in the middle, and voila, the later flight is "on time", potentially stranding hundreds of fliers. I wonder how this situation plays out in these statistics?

Are the stats improving or the metric getting wors (2)

Arabian Nights (2597797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550247)

I've noticed a lot of my recent flights arrive earlier than the airline predicts, even when we depart right on time. I've even had pilots tell me we are going to be early before we take off when we're slightly behind schedule. I guess I would like to see a graph of estimated flight times vs. time, and how often they are 'late' side by side, to see if the airlines are just erroneously padding predicted flight durations to get more people to their destinations 'on time.' These numbers just might mean JetBlue is the most honest airline.

Re:Are the stats improving or the metric getting w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550373)

.... Or they could just be less competent at determining how delayed the routinely applicable delays will be.

Re:Are the stats improving or the metric getting w (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553357)

I've even had pilots tell me we are going to be early before we take off when we're slightly behind schedule.

Probably based off of the pre-flight weather data. The pilot will know they're going to be flying with a tailwind before they take off, which means you're going to get to the destination faster than expected.

Re:Are the stats improving or the metric getting w (1)

boaworm (180781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553513)

It could be a bit more than that. From one day to the next, winds can change quite drastically and if you're flying with 100kt+ head vs tailwind that makes a lot of difference. Going intercontinental that can easily make more than an hour on the total flying time. Also things like for short hauls, with the right wind conditions your departure pattern may take you in the right direction whereas with "wrong" winds you will take off in the right direction losing a couple of minutes on departure and the same on arrival.

Also sometimes people _actually show up on time_ at the gate, and if boarding is completed ahead of schedule and there is an available slot, they can depart earlier.

There are lots of reasons a plane can arrive early, and it isnt all about cheating :)

Fine but incomplete (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550465)

Fine as far as it goes, but doesn't account for other important factors like seat space, quality of service, etc.

Flying is getting better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550601)

Now with extra groping or xray. We like to offer our customers choices to improve their flying experience.

slightly down in 2011 - cause and effect (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550611)

What is down is the economy, and as a consequence also the number of people traveling by air. If there are fewer people competing for that slimmed down "service" wouldn't you think that the arilines might actually try harder to gain as many passengers as possible? They are not "doing better", rather just trying not to lose more business than they already have.

I'm confused (2)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550613)

What achievement did they unlock?

Mild Winter == More on time flights (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550695)

How much did the near lack of winter weather for the end of 2011 across much of the US affect those on-time statistics? It's hard to praise someone for adequate performance when they did not suffer many challenges.

Jet Blue == JFK, not on time... (5, Informative)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550911)

Its obvious that JetBlue's poor on-time performance can be tied directly to its hub being JFK, in the busiest, most congestion airspace in the country. Comparing it to Hawaiian Air for on-time performance is kinda silly. Even airlines with Chicago as a major hub (e.g. American, United), can dilute those bad performances with flights from other of their hubs, but not JetBlue whose only hub is JFK.

Re:Jet Blue == JFK, not on time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39556117)

That is an interesting observation. Should they also have an equivalent report about airports? Carrier-Performance/Airport-Performance should give us the true picture then.

Of course it's better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551225)

United, perhaps the worst airline ever devised by manbird, devoured Continental. Continental is now giving United indigestion by way of anti-suck.

I mean - suddenly, you've got planes in United livery that have legroom suitable for adult humans. You've got baggage folks who are literate!

Sure, there are still United incompetents everywhere, but the glory of the fallen Continental has bumped up United's standing. And United was, in fact, so shitty, that any positive movement is magnified exponentially, making it seem like all air travel is full of flowers and puppies and sexy time goats.

It's lot more than being on time and lost baggage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551647)

Recently I have traveled on long journey. And I believe it is not just about being able to reach on time and have baggage with you. In this day and age of high end technology we expect a lot more from industry that has also been technologically more advanced than it's counterpart. I mean I understand complications associated with it, but in age of social media and high end computing we expect better service, in-flight entertainment, shopping experience as well as lot more than that. Industry certainly has evolve a lot more to produce wonderful experience, world is all about value added service (assuming basic services are provided).. I have shared few of my ideas last week over here http://bit.ly/HauNNZ and I hope ebay or amazon or somebody solve it.. New generation traveler cannot always ask for timely flights..

Problems, no sir I dont have any problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551749)

Of course complaints are down. Do you want to end up on the no fly list.

Getting on planes is more like entering detention, you have no rights other than sit down shut up and pay for your bags.

Bleh

JetBlue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39552799)

Gotta wait till the pilot's meds kick in...

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39553169)

I don't give a shit, call me when I'm not required to get my butthole fingered before I'm able to board.

People who are delayed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39554515)

...probably complain about the delay more often than people who are both delayed and raped.

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