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COMPLAINTS AGAINST AIRLINES IN 1991 LOWEST IN 21 YEARS, DOT REPORTS

COMPLAINTS AGAINST AIRLINES IN 1991 LOWEST IN 21 YEARS, DOT REPORTS
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers filed fewer complaints with the federal government against airlines in 1991 than in any year since 1970, according to the Department of Transportation.
 In releasing its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, DOT also said that 1991 saw the largest U.S. carriers posting their best on-time record for a full year since the department began publishing this data in November 1987.
 The department received 7,551 complaints against airlines in 1991, the fewest since the total 6,957 recorded in 1970 and down from 9,501 in 1990. Last year also marked the fourth consecutive year complaint totals have declined. Consumers filed 496 complaints last December, up from 468 in November but down from December 1990's total of 504.
 The nation's 10 largest carriers posted an 82.5 percent on-time arrival rate last year, up from 79.4 percent in 1990, the best annual mark in the four full years DOT has published the data. Last December's on-time percentage was 80.0, down slightly from November's 82.7 but up considerably from December 1990's 70.3 In compiling the data, flight delays caused by mechanical problems are not counted.
 The largest U.S. carriers had a mishandled baggage rate of 5.38 reports per 1,000 passengers in 1991, down from 6.73 in 1990. Last December's rate was 6.31 reports, an increase from November's 4.52 but much lower than December 1990's 10.13.
 The department reminded consumers who want on-time performance data for specific flights to call their airline ticket offices or their travel agents. Such information is available on the computerized reservation systems used by these agents.
 While providing a summary of flight data in its monthly report, the department also maintains a file covering more than 20,000 flights available for inspection in Room 4201 of the DOT headquarters building at 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, D.C. For those interested in obtaining all the flight information, computer tapes ($150 per tape reel) and a complete printout are available from DOT's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.
 The following charts display rankings of the largest U.S. airlines for 1991 based on data detailed in the report. Two airlines, Midway and Pan Am, ceased operations during the fourth quarter. The combined (Major/National) industry average rate of complaints/100,000 passengers in 1991 was 1.24.
 1991 ON-TIME PERFORMANCE
 (Domestic System, Overall Percentage, Arrival)
 1. Northwest Airlines 86.3
 2. America West Airlines 84.5
 3. Alaska Airlines 84.5
 4. USAir 84.4
 5. Southwest Airlines 84.3
 6. Pan Am 83.5
 7. American Airlines 83.4
 8. Midway Airlines 82.8
 9. Continental 81.4
 10. Delta Air Lines 80.5
 11. TWA 79.2
 12. United Airlines 78.3
 Industry Average 82.5
 1991 MISHANDLED BAGGAGE REPORTS
 (Domestic, Reports/1,000 Passengers)
 1. Midway Airlines 3.51
 2. Southwest Airlines 4.34
 3. American Airlines 4.55
 4. Pan Am 4.68
 5. Continental 5.13
 6. USAir 5.19
 7. Northwest Airlines 5.44
 8. Alaska Airlines 5.86
 9. Delta Air Lines 5.90
 10. United Airlines 6.03
 11. TWA 6.25
 12. America West Airlines 6.62
 Industry Average 6.73
 1991 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
 (MAJORS)
 (Complaints/100,000 Passengers)
 1. Southwest Airlines 0.46
 2. Delta Air Lines 0.47
 3. USAir 0.63
 5. Northwest Airlines 0.98
 8. Continental 1.21
 6. American Airlines 1.42
 7. United Airlines 1.47
 4. America West Airlines 1.76
 9. Pan Am 3.89
 10. TWA 4.46
 Industry Average 1.26
 1991 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
 (NATIONALS)
 (Complaints/100,000 Passengers)
 1. Air Wisconsin 0.00
 2. Midwest Express 0.00
 3. Westair 0.14
 4. Aloha Airlines 0.43
 5. Horizon 0.44
 6. Alaska Airlines 0.48
 7. Trump Shuttle 1.27
 8. MarkAir 1.31
 9. American Trans Air 1.63
 10. Hawaiian Airlines 1.68
 11. Midway Airlines 2.06
 12. Tower Airlines 4.19
 Industry Average 0.97
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Mosley of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 202-366-5571/ CO: U.S. Department of Transportation ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


TW-MK -- DC021 -- 7778 02/06/92 13:36 EST
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