News Article - November 07, 2008

By Linda Loyd

  Philadelphia International Airport's on-time record slipped in September compared with a year ago, hampered by weather and traffic issues, federal data released today showed. Commercial flights arrived at Philadelphia on time 72.3 percent of the time, down from 79.4 percent in September last year.

   Planes left on time 79.8 percent of the time, down from 81.8 percent on-time departures in September 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report. Philadelphia International ranked 31st - next to last - in on-time arrivals and on-time departures among 32 airports. September is the most recent month for which statistics were available.

   US Airways, which carries two-thirds of Philadelphia passengers, ranked sixth among the 10 largest U.S. airlines, with on-time arrivals of 84.1 percent. Hawaiian, Frontier and Pinnacle airlines topped the overall list. Northwest, Southwest, AirTran, Alaska and Delta had better on-time arrivals than US Airways among major airlines. Philadelphia aviation officials are not sure why Philadelphia slipped in rankings. "These are FAA statistics; we don't track it," said James M. Tyrrell, the city's deputy aviation director. On-time performance can be attributable to airports from which flights had left, the weather, and air-traffic controllers routing of aircraft, Tyrrell said.

   Reports of mishandled baggage by US Airways improved in September to about 3.09 reports per 1,000 passengers from 5.84 reports a year earlier. US Airways, based in Tempe, Ariz., ranked 10th in customer complaints among the 10 largest carriers. US Airways logged 79 complaints in September, a rate of 1.92 per 100,000 passengers, compared with 92 complaints in September 2007.

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer