AirTran tardy, but will seldom lose your bag

AirTran Airways’ shares rose 4.2% on Friday, despite new DoT data revealing the carrier ranked 17th of 19 airlines in on-time performance for 2009, finishing just ahead of two Delta regional affiliates. AirTran was also third last in the Dec-2009 figures.

But AirTran scored well in terms of mishandled baggage, leading the industry on this measure over 2009. US carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 5.18 reports per 1,000 passengers in December, down from December 2008’s 6.96 rate, but higher than November 2009’s all-time record low mark of 2.78. ASA had the highest rate of mishandled baggage among airlines with 7.87 reports per 1,000 passengers, while AirTran had the lowest lost baggage rate, at 1.67.

Highlights are listed below. See related report: US on-time performance improves. Good news, sort of

US DoT Air Travel Consumer Report: Dec-2009

The following is based on data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the 19 reporting carriers for Dec-2009.

Highest on-time arrival rates:

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 87.0%;
  2. Alaska Airlines – 84.0%;
  3. United Airlines – 77.3%.

Lowest on-time arrival rates

  1. American Eagle Airlines – 64.5%;
  2. Comair – 65.9%;
  3. AirTran Airways – 66.4%.

Overall: 72.0% on-time arrivals

Highest rates of canceled flights

  1. Comair – 6.1%;
  2. American Eagle Airlines – 5.9%;
  3. Mesa Airlines – 4.4%.

Lowest rates of canceled flights

  1. Hawaiian Airlines – 0.0%;
  2. Frontier Airlines – 0.5%;
  3. Alaska Airlines – 0.7%.

Elsewhere, Southwest’s shares gained 1.4% on Friday, while Allegiant and JetBlue rose 1.6%.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 12-Feb-2010