Last year was a far better year to fly in the United States, with the lowest cancellation rate in ten years or more.
According to data issued by the Department of Transportation for 2023, out of the 16.3 million flights that took place in the country, the overall cancellation rate was less than 1.2%, which the department described as “the lowest rate in a decade.”
According to DOT statistics, the same percentage for 2022 was 2.3%, the second-highest number of cancellations in the previous ten years. At 2.4%, 2014 had the highest cancellation rate over the previous ten years.
In addition, DOT reported that it observed a “record number” of passengers during the past several weeks of “remarkably smooth” holiday air travel, with a cancellation rate of just 0.8% between December 17, 2023 and January 1, 2024.
That represents a significant decrease from the 8.2% cancellation rate during the same period in 2022, when a strong winter storm disrupted traveler plans.
In a press statement, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated, “Millions of travelers were able to fly safely and without disruption last year thanks to the tireless work of our nation’s aviation safety professionals.”
Airlines have increased hiring throughout the last 12 months. The tourism industry is seeing its greatest employment level in over 20 years as a result of the global shutdown and the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Biden administration also unveiled a plan for a new regulation in May 2023, which would mandate that airlines reimburse and cover costs for passengers who experience cancellations or delays
Notwithstanding the optimistic statistics, US aviation continues to face challenges, such as a continuous scarcity of air traffic controllers and outdated equipment utilized by airlines.