Average performance of US Airways for delayed flights
History and recent development
The origin of US Airways is the aviation company All American Aviation Inc. founded in 1939 by the du Pont family, one of the most prominent American families. All American Aviation Inc. was subsequently named All American Airways, Allegheny Airlines and USAir, before being ultimately renamed US Airways in 1996. US Airways’ development has experienced many ups and downs, the airline has filed for bankruptcy several times but seems to has stabilized itself on the market over the course of the past two to three years. In the beginning of 2013, the merger between American Airlines and US Airways was announced; however, in August, the United States Department of Justice alongside attorneys general from several states filed a lawsuit to block the merger. US Airways made the front pages of international newspapers when a skilled pilot managed to crash-land a US Airways aircraft in the Hudson River without fatalities in January 2009, after birds had stricken the engines.
With some 66m passengers transported annually, US Airways already counts among the world’s biggest airlines, and the merger with American Airlines would make it the largest. US Airways currently operates a fleet of 347 aircrafts, almost exclusively Airbus, with an average age of 12.6 years. US Airways’ major hubs are Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The airline has a wide network of both national and international destinations, the main national routes being in the southern and eastern United States, serving – among many others – Miami (MIA), New Orleans (MSY) and Houston (IAH), all of which are served several times daily from both Charlotte and Philadelphia. The international routes mainly serve the Caribbean and Europe, major destinations in Europe being Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG) and London (LHR).
Services and quality of service
US Airways is a member of Star Alliance since 2004 and also offers its own frequent traveler program, “Dividend Miles”. The airline is rated with three stars on SKYTRAX, receiving moderate 2.5 to three stars for quality of food. This overall average performance notwithstanding, US Airways has more or less continuously received rather poor reviews in customer satisfaction, being elected as America’s worst airline in 2007. It also has the highest rate of customer complaints among all American airline companies (2007), at the same time showing the worst response to complaints, answering only 50% of the calls reaching their customer service department. In 2011, US Airways counted among the “19 most hated companies in America” according to the magazine Business Insider. Their rating on SKYTRAX concerning handling of delays and cancellations, however, is average with three stars. Cabin safety standards and cockpit communication receive an above-average rating of four stars.
US Airways –cancellations and delays
With 76% of the flights arriving on time according to flightstats.com, the on-time performance of US Airways may not be outstanding, but acceptable. When delays occur, excessive delays are frequent, though: 8% of all flights are delayed by more than 45 min., another 8% have minor delays of less than 30 min. With just 2%, the number of flights cancelled is neglectable. Given the overall poor rating of US Airways in customer services and the low response rate at the call center, the quality of their handling of delays and cancellations is arguable, though the SKYTRAX rating was average in the handling of delays and cancellations. Nonetheless, US Airways has made considerable effort to improve its performance since 2008, the outcome, also regarding delayed and cancelled flights, remains to be seen in future polls.