US Airways—the carrier SmarterTravel.com readers voted the Least Favorite Domestic Airline last year—has made major improvements in at least one aspect of flying. According to newly released stats (opens as Word document) from the Department of Transportation (DOT), US Airways had the best on-time record of the six major legacy carriers for 2008, with 80.1 percent of its flight arriving on time. In 2007, US Airways had the worst record among the legacy airlines.
Making an effort to capture all the good PR possible, US Airways has already debuted an animated press release on its website touting its turnaround from worst to first. When you read the fine print under the headline, of course, you'll see that's the best record of the legacy carriers including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, and US Airways. Hawaiian Airlines actually had the best overall record (90 percent on time) followed by Southwest (80.5 percent) and then US Airways. American Airlines was dead last among the 19 airlines tracked by the DOT, with only 69.8 percent of its flights arriving as scheduled.
Exact rankings aside, it's great to see an airline like US Airways making a big effort to improve the flying experience for its customers. Too often in the past year it's felt like the airlines put passengers last.
Realistically, what else do you think the airlines can do to improve the flying experience for passengers? I'd like to hear your thoughts.