US Records Lowest Flight Cancellation Rate In 5 Years

2023 has had the lowest flight cancellation rates in five years across the nation, according to the US Department of Transportation.

The percentage of scheduled flights cancelled is currently at 1.3 percent for 2023 across the National Airspace System. That is down an entire point from 2.3 percent in 2022, and even lower than the pre-pandemic times.

The flight cancellation rate in 2018 was 1.5 percent, and increased to 1.6 percent in the following two years.

In May, Federal Aviation Authority announced 169 new routes along the East Coast that are more direct, will save passenger time, airline fuel, and will increase safety, USDOT and FAA said in a fact sheet on work to improve holiday air travel and strengthen passenger rights.

FAA said that to lessen inland volume and reduce delays during holiday travel, it will use restricted airspace off the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico that the military releases to the FAA for commercial planes to use.

The FAA has coordinated with the commercial space industry to make sure no launches are scheduled in the busiest times surrounding Thanksgiving.

When there is weather or airspace congestion, and barring any safety concerns, the FAA minimizes delays for travelers by allowing commercial passenger aircraft to take off first, while private business jets that often schedule late must wait.

The Department of Transportation said it has returned a record amount of refunds to travelers, issued the largest fines against airlines for failing passengers, and advanced the biggest expansion of airline consumer rights in decades under the Biden administration.

Last year, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pressured airline CEOs to improve their customer service, resulting in the 10 largest U.S. airlines guarantee free rebooking and meals, and nine guarantee hotel accommodations when an airline issue causes a delay or cancellation.

The Department of Transportation is currently pursuing rules that would make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory, guarantee refunds for passengers for services they paid for that are not actually provided, ensure fee transparency so consumers know the true cost of their flights such as baggage fees before they buy a ticket and can make informed decisions and save money, and ensure fee free family seating to make it easier for parents to avoid junk fees to sit with their children when they fly.

To combat a long-standing air traffic controller shortfall, FAA is moving ahead to hire and train new staff. FAA hit its target of hiring 1,500 staff this year, with a goal of 1,800 next year.

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