WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today commented on the Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report:
It’s disingenuous at best for the Department of Transportation to report air travel performance statistics without clearly noting the extraordinary Chicago event in the underlying results. The fire at the FAA Chicago En Route Center in Aurora, IL, caused approximately 6,600 flight cancellations and affected nearly 500,000 passengers from Sept. 26 to Oct. 13, including 4,500 flights in September alone. FAA is expected to meet a level of service for airlines and their customers, and DOT should not ignore an event that so clearly impacted operational performance in its press release or relegate it to a footnote in a table. If the DOT’s intent in requiring airlines to report on-time performance is to educate the traveling public, it ought to be more transparent in its own role in that performance. Prior to the fire, air travel performance statistics for September were on track to be slightly better than the previous year.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.