Weather impacts DIA’s on-time performance in June
August 11, 2015
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  • June’s wicked weather is being blamed for on-time performance decreases of Denver International Airport’s top three airlines.
    United Airlines, DIA’s largest carrier, had national on-time performance of 66.3 percent in June, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data released Tuesday. That’s a 13.4 percent decrease from 76.6 percent in May.

    “At a hub level, we experienced thunderstorm activity at one or more hubs during 25 of the 30 days in June,” said United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart. “It’s the highest severe and moderate weather impact we’ve had since July 2010.”

    Southwest Airlines saw an 8 percent on-time performance decrease to 72.5 percent from May to June, and Denver-based Frontier Airlines fell about 7.5 percent to 67.6 percent.
    “Denver is still Frontier’s largest operation, and in June, the daily afternoon typhoons that seemed to blow straight from Manila to DIA affected the operation with delays and diversions,” said airline spokesman Jim Faulkner.

    The DOT considers a flight late if it arrives or departs more than 14 minutes past schedule.

    DIA suffered an across-the-board punctuality drop in June. On-time arrivals dropped 9.2 percent and on-time departures dropped 11.6 percent from May to June.

    Frontier made performance a focal point after Dave Siegel, CEO since January 2012, stepped down in May amid soaring complaints.

    At that time, Frontier president Barry Biffle said leadership was focused on improving reliability and resolving operational problems.

    Data show complaints against the ultra-low-cost carrier are u p 188 percent for the first six months of 2015 over the same time last year, but the airline is slowly seeing improvement.

    Complaints against Frontier in June decreased 19 percent over those in May, and May’s complaints were down 5 percent over April.

    The airline performed 194 percent better on complaints in June than Spirit Airlines. Budget-carrier Spirit had the highest complaint rate of any major U.S. airline and the worst on-time performance among the 14 airlines tracked in the DOT report.
    Anyone who boarded Spirit Airlines in the first half of the year had a 50 percent chance the flight would be late — the worst on-time performance by a major airline in 10 years.

    Overall, airlines operated 74.8 percent of their flights on time in June, up from 71.8 percent in June 2014.