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Flight Delays Down in 2010, Cancellations Up in December

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - If you thought flight delays were bad in 2010, they were still better than they were in 2009, according to new figures from the Department of Transportation.

The Air Travel Consumer Report showed that 2010 was the third-best year in terms of on-time flights in the past 16 years, with 79.8 percent of flights arriving on time. The number is just slightly better than 2009's on-time rate of 79.5 percent. Long tarmac delays, however, were much lower in the last month of 2010 than the previous year. Just three flights sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in December, compared to 34 such flights in December of 2009.

But flight delays were much worse some places than others. Take the Southwest flight from Baltimore to Hartford, for example. In December, Southwest Flight 2016 from BWI to Hartford was the most delayed flight – it was late 91.7% of the time, averaging 47 minutes late.

Cancelled flights were up slightly in December from the same period a year ago due to extreme winter weather. Carriers cancelled 3.7 percent of domestic flights in December 2010 compared to 2.8 percent in December 2009.

The least likely air carrier to cancel your flight in December was Hawaiian Airlines with just a .2 percent cancellation rate. The highest rate of cancellations went to JetBlue, who canceled 8.5 percent of all domestic flights in December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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