The US Transportation Department made an announcement that whilst on the whole American airlines were doing better at keeping on time for take off, 1 in 5 still managed to run late. Southwest Airlines in particular continued to struggle in maintaining a punctual service.
The federal government counts a flight as on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of the schedule. Using this as their premise, the list revealed that the most reliable airlines were Virgin America, Hawaiian and Alaska. Hawaiian airlines being the most impressive, receiving 94.0 per cent on time performance. However, Southwest Airlines, ExpressJet, and Envoy all failed to hit their targets and fell to the bottom of the list.
Southwest had usually always been strong in the on-time category, however figures started to slip last year. Gary Kelly, the CEO for the airline, said in February that he was not pleased with its performance and would ensure that “swiftly taken corrective action’ would be undertaken. In doing so he stated that the following changes would be made; ‘earlier boarding, especially on the first flights of the day, as well as schedule tweaks that add more time between flights to give the airline room to deal with the unexpected.’