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AIR TRAVEL

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Performance Statistics

For every six flights you take, one will arrive late. That's the unfortunate fact of air travel today, with flight delays caused by a variety of factors—weather, aircraft problems, runway closures, and even the air traffic control system itself.

Before you book a flight, it's useful to check the flight's on-time performance. This information is available through your travel agent, is offered on many online sites, and can also be found at the Web site for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (http://www.bts.gov/). Look for Airline On-Time statistics on the home page. Here you can drop in your flight number, pick a period of time (the most recent month or year), and find out how often that flight was late and the average number of minutes is was late. Another bit of useful information is the on-time arrival and departure statistic of a particular airport, by time of day. You can find this infomation in the Air Travel Consumer Report, Table 3. (http://airconsumer.OST.gov). No matter which airport you look at, you'll find that on-time performance declines as the day wears on; the later the flight is, the more likely it is to be delayed, due to the "ripple" effect of delays throughout the system. If arriving on time is important to you, pick the earliest flight possible.

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