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Mar 16, 4:15 PM EDT

Delays on US airlines declined in January from a year ago


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Flights were more likely to be on time and less likely to be canceled in January than they were a year earlier, when winter storms wrecked airline schedules.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday that 76.8 percent of flights were on time in January, up from 67.7 percent in January 2014. About 2.5 percent of flights were canceled, down from 6.5 percent a year earlier.

Delta Air Lines topped the on-time rankings at 86.1 percent. Envoy Air, which operates many American Eagle flights for American Airlines, finished last, at 60.4 percent. Envoy also had the highest rate of mishandled bags.

Low-fare Spirit Airlines was included in the rankings for the first time. Spirit finished 11th out of 14 listed airlines at on-time arrivals and was next to last in rate of complaints, with only Frontier Airlines doing worse. But Spirit ranked third-best at handling bags.

The Department of Transportation said that five domestic flights were held on the ground for more than three hours, in apparent violation of federal rules. Two were Southwest Airlines planes and one each by US Airways, Alaska Airlines and ExpressJet. The department said it was investigating the delays.

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The report can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/1HVW48j

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