Airline on-time arrivals getting better with fewer flights

The September report from the U.S. Department of Transportation on airline on-time performance is the best evidence I've seen yet that cutbacks in schedules this year mean good things for those customers still flying: On-time arrivals are growing at PHL and other airports, with more than 80 percent of them within 15 minutes of schedule at the 31 largest U.S airports.
Remarkably, almost 82 percent of arrivals at PHL were on-time, yet the airport finished in 29th place for the month because, for the first time in many years, the New York area airports didn't finish at the bottom. (Remember that weather has a lot to do how each airport finishes in any given month or year.)
At PHL, US Airways and Southwest, the largest carriers in passenger numbers and flights, were in a virtual tie for on-time arrivals in September; Southwest was at 83.5 percent, US Airways at 83.1 percent. US Airways continues to pay employees bonuses as a result of it finishing among the top three for system on-time performance and fewest lost bags and consumer complaints, in what it considers its competitive set: the legacy carriers American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United.
Detail of how each airport ranked can be found at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Web site,, and detail by airport for each airline, and the service reports are at

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