Is air travel getting worse? I certainly think so.
“I’ve had it with air travel,” said a friend recently. “Fun it never was… now it usually is frustrating.”
Well, latest statistics do show that more flights are late, more bags are being lost and customers are complaining more.
Passenger complaints rose more than 22 percent in 2014. Wow! While regional airlines bore the brunt of the attacks, the big boys racked up their share of the unhappiness as well, based on the information the airlines turn over to the United States Department of Transportation.
The percentage of flights that arrived on time dropped to 76.2 percent in 2014. If you get to fly Hawaiian Airlines, your chances of getting there on time are the best. Envoy Air, which operates many American Eagle regional jaunts, is the worst.
As to bags, lost, stolen or delayed, it climbed to 13 percent last year. Average loss for the industry is one for about 275. At Envoy, the rate is estimated to be one for every 110 travelers.
Passengers getting bumped from their regular scheduled flights climbed three percent in the last year. Best record: Virgin America; poorest: Sky West and its Express Jet subsidiary. Of course, the smaller regionals operate smaller planes, which most often are first for cancellations due to bad weather. It used to be said, “Fly at your own risk.” It’s becoming a truism.