This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Delta and US Airways Battle for First in On-Time Ranking

Stocks in this article: AAMRQ.PK DAL LCC LUV UAL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- ( TheStreet) -- Airlines obsessively track and manage their on-time performance, and recently none have been more obsessive than Delta (DAL - Get Report)and US Airways (LCC).

That is because, throughout the year, the two carriers have been locked in a neck-and-neck battle for the best operational results among the four network carriers.

The most recent report by the U.S. Transportation Department shows just how close they are. In the second quarter, 87.5% of Delta flights arrived on time, while 87.4% of US Airways flights arrived on time. In the first quarter, 87.3% of Delta flights arrived on time, while 87.2% of US Airways flights arrived on time.

The DOT tracks operational metrics for 18 carriers. The most closely watched is A14, or arrivals within 14 minutes of schedule. Typically, operating on time enhances performance in the other key operational metrics, mishandled bag rates and customer complaints. Many carriers offer employee incentives for meeting monthly operational goals.

During the first six months of 2012, US Airways had five number ones (among legacy carriers) in the A14, bag and customer satisfaction, while Delta had 13. However, in June, the latest month available, US Airways bested Delta in A14, with 86.2% of flights on time compared to 85.5%, and had a lower rate of mishandled bags.

"Competition is a good thing and Delta is a great competitor," says US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr. "We're both running good operations for our customers. Operating reliability is at the core of who we are as an airline."

Added Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant: "The winners here are Delta customers and the flying public at large."

The four network carriers face unique challenges because they operate hubs, where on-time departures depend on good weather and perfect timing by multiple participants at various times throughout each day. Nevertheless, during the first quarter, Delta ranked third among all carriers in on-time arrivals, while US Airways tied for fifth with Southwest (LUV - Get Report), which does not operate hubs. In the second quarter, Delta ranked fourth among all carriers, while US Airways was fifth.

The improvement in US Airways operations began in 2007. That March, the carrier reported an abysmally low on-time arrival rate of 55.5%, reflecting a schedule meltdown following a botched effort to move to a single reservations system after its 2005 merger with America West. By March 2008, US Airways had an on-time arrival rate of 79.1%, first among its peers, and its third number one ranking in four months.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,191.37 -195.84 -1.13%
S&P 500 2,002.16 -27.39 -1.35%
NASDAQ 4,637.9940 -43.5030 -0.93%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs