Airlines boost on-time arrivals, reduce canceled flights

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Airlines are doing a better job lately of arriving on time and canceling fewer flights.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that 81.8 percent of flights on the nation's leading airlines arrived on time in April. That's up from 78.7 percent in March and 79.6 percent in April 2014.

Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines had the best on-time ratings. Low-fare carriers Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines had the worst.

There was only one tarmac delay in April that was long enough to draw attention. A Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Denver was diverted to Pueblo, Colorado, where it sat for four hours, in apparent violation of a three-hour limit in federal rules. The Transportation Department said it was investigating.

Airlines canceled about 4,500 flights, or 0.9 percent of their schedules, down from 2.2 percent in March and 1.1 percent the previous April. Envoy Air, which operates most American Eagle flights, had the worst cancellation rate.

The rate of consumer complaints jumped 31 percent compared with April 2014 but remained rare - about 1 in every 60,000 passengers filed a complaint with the government. Frontier had the highest rate of complaints, followed by Spirit. Southwest had the lowest rate.

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