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U.S. airlines report fewer flight delays during May

From the Associated Press

Domestic airlines improved their on-time arrival rates in May, although more than 1 in 5 flights still failed to get passengers to their destination as scheduled, according to government data released Monday.

A total of 21% of commercial flights in the U.S. arrived at least 15 minutes late, were canceled or diverted in May, according to the Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That is down from more than 22% of flights in the same month last year and in April of this year. The previous month’s figure was higher in part because AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier, was forced to ground thousands of flights amid tighter government scrutiny of maintenance issues.

The latest government figures show American again had the most delays, getting passengers to their destinations as scheduled 67.3% of the time. It was followed by UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, the second-largest carrier, which reported 72.4% of its arrivals were on time, and Continental Airlines Inc., with 75.4%.

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U.S. carriers also improved their baggage handling in May. About 4.6 passengers out of every 1,000 reported a mishandled bag during the month, compared with nearly 6 per 1,000 a year earlier and 5 per 1,000 in April.

Reported passenger complaints fell to 885, compared with 930 a year earlier and 1,113 in April.


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