If you have experienced a recent flight delay in Hawaii, read this. Newsweek reports that Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines are among the ten largest carriers that failed to meet the legal requirement from US DOT to display fight delays on their websites. That is based on a review of those airlines’ websites.
What the US DOT airline rules are on flight delay notifications:
“(a) During the course of reservations or ticketing discussions or transactions, or inquiries about flights, between a carrier’s employees or contractors and the public, the carrier shall disclose upon reasonable request the on-time performance code for any flight that has been assigned a code pursuant to this part.
(b) For each domestic flight for which schedule information is available on its website, including domestic code-share flights, a reporting carrier shall display the following information regarding the flight’s performance during the most recent calendar month for which the carrier has reported on-time performance data to the Department: the percentage of arrivals that were on time—i.e., within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival time, the percentage of arrivals that were more than 30 minutes late (including special highlighting if the flight was late more than 30 minutes of scheduled arrival time more than 50 percent of the time), and the percentage of flight cancellations if 5 percent or more of the flight’s operations were canceled in the month covered. The information must be provided by showing all of the required information on the initial listing of flights or by showing all of the required information via a prominent hyperlink in close proximity to each flight on the page with the initial listing of flights.” You can read the DOT rule document below.
The required on-time data was either missing entirely or obfuscated behind deceptive links.
DOT requires that the information is clearly listed, per the information from them above. Newsweek’s research found no such data for more than 1/3 of the 100 flights they checked.
Three airlines — United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines — said after being contacted that they were fixing bugs on their websites that may have prevented the data from displaying.
What’s your take on that response from United, Alaska, and Hawaiian Airlines?
While consumers may be surprised to learn of the reporting requirement, Beat of Hawaii has been tracking Hawaii flight delays since earlier this year and updating you about them frequently.
Has DOT been tough enough on the airlines’ lack of on-time performance?
DOT has been 0utspoken about the issue of on-time performance and the lack thereof. How much they are actually doing about it is another matter. This is a case in point as the DOT has failed to enforce this requirement that the airlines are obviously aware of.
Newsweek did say they have “no evidence that the data was being withheld by airlines intentionally to flout the DOT rule and leave customers in the dark.” We are left shaking our heads about the whole affair. After all the airlines are clearly masterful when it comes to technology and websites.
On the United Airlines website, it isn’t easy to find on-time flight data either. Newsweek said in their research of 10 random UAL flights, there was no data no matter what the consumer tried. UAL said it repaired a website problem that prevented consumers from accessing that information and that “We know it’s important for our customers to see this information, and we make sure to display it prominently as required with fare search results.”
Two airlines did better on the DOT on-time performance reporting requirement.
Newsweek found both Delta and Southwest Airlines provided the required data on every search they attempted, but it still wasn’t easy to find. Both websites make customers “click a link to view the data, and these links do not say “flight performance” or “cancellations and delays.” Instead, customers need to know that clicking a flight’s flight number will reveal the data.”
“No performance data was found for three of ten Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines flights in Newsweek’s review.” Alaska Airlines said they are working to correct a problem that led to the information sometimes being unavailable.
Alaska Airlines: “We provide our guests with the information they need to make informed decisions about purchasing airfares, in accordance with Department of Transportation regulations.”
Hawaiian Airlines: “We know punctuality is important to our guests, which is why we have been the number one US airline for 18 consecutive years.”
FlightAware reveals more Hawaii flight delays: 314 flights late on Monday and Tuesday.
On Tuesday, FlightAware reported 137 flight delays in Hawaii. Seventy (70) flights were delayed at Honolulu, 37 at Maui, 13 at Kauai, 11 at Kona, and 6 at Hilo. And on Monday, there were 177 flight delays in Hawaii. Ninety-one (91) flights were delayed at Honolulu, 47 at Maui, 15 at Kauai, 17 at Kona, and 7 at Hilo.
What’s your take on the airlines’ failure to comply with these DOT rules?Final Rule on Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections