By Hugo Martin
4:33 PM PST, February 5, 2013
Time is money.
In the case of United Airlines, it equates to $100.
The Chicago-based airline announced Tuesday that it plans to reward many of its front-line employees $100 each for helping the carrier reach an on-time arrival rate of at least 80% for domestic and international flights in January.
The airline ended the month with an 82.8% domestic on-time arrival rate and an 80.5% international on-time rate, resulting in the best combined performance for the month in 10 years.
It was not the first time United has tossed around some cash for meeting on-time goals.
The airline most recently rewarded its employees $100 each for reaching the 85.5% on-time arrival rate for its domestic flights and 81.2% for international flights for the month of November 2012.
(A flight is considered on time if it lands or departs within 14 minutes of its scheduled arrival or departure time.)
Delays are costly for airlines. For example, airlines have spent years studying the fastest way to board passengers to squeeze more revenue-generating flights into each work shift.
Weather-related delays can make the difference between a profitable or a money-losing month for airlines.
In the first 10 months of 2012, the nation's largest airlines reported a combined on-time performance rate of 82%, up from about 80% for all of 2011, according to federal statistics.
Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin
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