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Flight Cancellations Are at a Historic Low, According to the U.S. Government

Flight Cancellations Are at a Historic Low, According to the U.S. Government

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A canceled flight can be devastating for travelers looking to attend an important meeting or family gathering.

Fortunately, new data from the Department of Transportation (DOT) reveals that flight cancellations are at historic lows for the first half of 2024, despite a record number of flights taking to the skies. Only 1.4 percent of flights were canceled over the first six months, which is the lowest rate in over 10 years, the DOT shared in a release. 

For comparison, in 2022, nearly 3 percent of flights were canceled, and in 2023 the number improved to 1.4 percent. 

“This year’s record-breaking air travel is another good sign for our economy as more Americans take to the skies than ever before. To help avoid travel headaches, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to modernize airports and expand passenger protections for a smoother travel experience,” United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the release. 

In an effort to help travelers, the Department of Transportation created new rules such as refund guarantees for canceled flights, as well as a dashboard to provide airline passengers information on their rights when flying. 

Travel + Leisure previously reported how Frontier Airlines had the most canceled flights in 2023, followed by JetBlue and Spirit Airlines.

While the low number of canceled flights is good news, only 78 percent of flights operated on-time between January and March 2024. In some cases, airlines may delay a flight several hours before canceling the flight. 

Travel experts recommend visiting an airline’s app or website to see if there are any rebooking options available. Many airlines have begun a practice of automatically rebooking passengers for the next available flight. For example, United Airlines recently updated their app and provides rebooking information available for customers without the need to speak directly with an agent. 

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