May 08, 2007

US Airways’ on-time numbers drop

Tempe-based US Airways had the worst on-time performance in the industry during March, with only 55.5 percent of its flights arriving on time, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported.

The carrier said the poor showing was due to the company changing to a new reservation system and a severe ice storm that crippled its Philadelphia hub that month.

This occurred during a heavy travel season for the airline — spring break.

“Frankly, they’re not surprising to us,” said Morgan Durrant, an airline spokesman.

“It snowballed into something ugly, and we’re glad it’s behind us,” he said.

Bill Mosley, a spokesman for the federal agency, said the airline’s showing was the worst of 20 carriers that month.

He said about 13 percent of the late flights in March were due to factors out of the airline’s control such as heavy traffic or air traffic control problems.

About 15 percent were caused by internal problems.

However, less than 1 percent were caused by security delays and extreme weather, Mosley said.

JetBlue had the second worst on-time performance with 63.6 percent.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said the figures have little influence on customers because “if it’s not you, it’s just kind of a statistic.”

By David Woodfill.

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