January 10, 2024

US Airlines Post Lowest Flight Cancellation Rate in 10 Years

Despite facing continued challenges due to short staffing and surging demand, U.S. airlines are excelling in completing their scheduled flights.

According to data released by the U.S. Transportation Department on Wednesday, fewer than 1.2 percent of 16.3 million total U.S. flights were canceled in 2023. That marks the lowest rate in at least a decade.

U.S. airlines' cancellation rate was even better during the hectic holiday travel period, falling to just 0.8 percent from December 17, 2023, through January 1, 2024. That was despite airlines carrying a record number of passengers.

For perspective, the 2022 holiday period saw an 8.2 percent cancellation rate. Last year's holiday season was marred by Southwest Airlines' crippling meltdown, which stranded some 2 million passengers and resulted in a record $140 million civil penalty.

"Thanks to the tireless work of our nation's aviation safety professionals, millions of travelers were able to fly safely and without disruption last year," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

"We are glad to see this 10-year low rate of cancellations, and our Department will continue to take every step to ensure air travel is smooth and safe for passengers in the new year."

According to Airlines for America (A4A), U.S. airlines had a December on-time arrival rate of 83.7 percent and a 99.6 percent completion factor. A4A credited the carriers for hiring more staff, investing in new technology and adjusting their flight schedules to be more realistic.

Copyright 2024 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.travelpulse.com. By Patrick Clarke.

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