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DOT RELEASES MONTHLY AIR TRAVEL CONSUMER REPORT

 DOT RELEASES MONTHLY AIR TRAVEL CONSUMER REPORT
 WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The on-time arrival and baggage


handling performance in March for the largest U.S. airlines showed improvement over the same period last year but was slightly off February's marks.
 The monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, released today by the Department of Transportation, also showed that air travelers filed fewer complaints with DOT in March than the corresponding month a year ago, but more than this past February.
 The nation's 10 largest airlines posted an 80.9 percent on-time arrival record in March, up from March 1991's 80.0 percent but below the 83.4 percent showing in February 1992. In compiling the data, delays caused by mechanical problems are not counted. The department noted that a two-hour shutdown of the air traffic control radar system at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on March 10 disrupted air traffic across the country, causing numerous flight delays and cancellations.
 The airlines received 4.83 reports of mishandled baggage per 1,000 passengers in March, an improvement over March 1991's 5.66 but not as good as the 4.53 posted in February 1992.
 The department received 525 complaints about airline service in March, down from last March's total of 701 but more than February 1992's mark of 450. Complaints for the first three months of 1992 totaled 1,540, well below the 2,142 received in the first quarter of 1991.
 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 7th St., S.W., Washington. 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.
 -0- 5/5/92
 /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-MH -- DC013 -- 6559 05/05/92 12:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
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