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Travelers, Rejoice: Airline Cancellations and Mishandled Bags Are Down

This April was a good month for airlines and travelers alike. The latest numbers from the Department of Transportation show airlines canceled just one percent of flights for the month, down from 2.8 percent in March. That also beats the airline cancellation rate from April 2017, which was 1.6 percent.

[st_content_ad]On-time arrivals also improved from 78.5 percent in March to 81.3 percent in April. Last April the on-time rate was a similar 80.9 percent. Mishandled bags also dropped to 2.39 reports per 1,000 passengers, down from 2.59 in March and 2.54 last April.

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Overall this improvement isn’t terribly surprising, given that April tends to have less extreme weather than the months preceding it. But, better performance means happier customers, regardless. The DOT received 1,169 complaints from consumers in April,  down 2.1 percent from March 2018 and 38.7 percent compared to April 2017.

But while the overall numbers are good, the news was not positive for all airlines. JetBlue had the lowest on-time performance rate (67.6 percent), followed by Frontier (76.4 percent), and Southwest (77.7 percent). Hawaiian (87.7 percent) and Delta (86.4 percent) were on top in on-time performance and, along with United, had the lowest rates of cancelled flights.

The DOT also reported it’s investigating a tarmac delay from April that lasted over three hours.

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By Carl Unger

Contributing Editor Carl Unger believes that every trip is worth taking. He loves an extended trip to Europe as much as he enjoys exploring the towns and landscape near home. Basically, you'll find him wherever there is good food, fresh air, and plenty of stories to bring home.

Carl has been writing for SmarterTravel since 2005. His travel writing has also appeared on USA Today and the About.com Boston travel guide.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "It's not revolutionary, but a small Moleskine notebook is my one travel must-have. It's great for noting things you want to remember and it takes up hardly any space in your bag."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Japan. I'd love to take a month off and visit the cities, temples, and countryside. I'm fascinated by the country's juxtaposition of ancient traditions and modern ambitions."

Travel Motto: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” –Terry Pratchett

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window."

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