US Airways: fewer delays, but still complaints

US Airways continues to surpass its competitors in on-time arrivals, and the carrier also is mishandling fewer bags than it did last year.

Despite those gains, Charlotte's dominant airline remains one of the worst for passenger complaints, according to federal transportation data released today.

More than 79 percent of US Airways flights landed on time in the first six months of 2008 – best among major U.S. airlines. In the same period last year, US Airways was the nation's worst carrier at about 63 percent.

US Airways operates nearly 90 percent of daily passenger flights at the Charlotte airport, where the on-time arrival rate for the first half of this year was almost 77 percent, or fifth among 32 major U.S. airports. In the same period last year, Charlotte's on-time arrival rate was about 66 percent, or 27th among airports.

Although the airline's improved performance has meant fewer consumer complaints, US Airways still trails all but one major airline in the rate of complaints. In the first half of this year, US Airways had 2.07 complaints per 100,000 passengers, slightly better than United's rate of 2.10.

Read tomorrow's Observer for more on this story.