UPDATED: Airlines improve on-time performance in March

The U.S. Department of Transportation released March airline on-time performance numbers today and the industry improved from a year ago. More detail about PHL will be added here later, or you can follow the links in this AP story that may help.

UPDATE: Although airline on-time operations deteriorated in March compared with a year ago,  PHL's rank among all big airports for on-time arrivals and departures stayed about the same for the month year vs. 2009. Flights got to PHL within 15 minutes of schedule 69 percent of the time, compared with 76 percent last year. PHL departures last year were on time 80 percent of the time, compared with 76 percent this March. Among PHL's largest carriers, US Airways flights arived on time at a 71.4 percent rate, Southwest at 69.2 percent. More detail can be found at this DOT Web page. 

One of the more interesting bits of data in the report was this one: Long tarmac delays dropped sharply in March compared with a year ago, as reported in this story. US Airways had no tarmac delays of three hours or more, and Southwest had one. Was the big drop preparation for the tough new federal rules that took effect April 29 that would levy heavy fines for long delays? Perhaps, but the decline is welcome, whatever the reason.