Last year saw more bags lost or stolen, a decline in on-time performance, and a record number of people being bumped from flights. From an account of a new study about flying the friendly skies:
Last year, 6.50 bags were lost, stolen or damaged for every 1,000 passengers, compared with 6.06 in 2005....
On-time performance worsened last year, the report said, with 75.5 percent of flights arriving on time, compared with 77.3 percent in 2005....
The study found an increase in the number of passengers who were bumped or denied boarding because of oversold flights - 1.01 denied boardings per 10,000 passengers last year, compared with 0.89 per 10,000 in 2005.
Curiouser and curiouser: "Overall, complaints about the airlines last year held steady at about 0.88 complaints for every 100,000 passengers."
The study comes out of Nebraska University and Wichita State and is based on the Airline Quality Report, an annual report issued since 1991 that uses Department of Transportation stats. More here.
What is to be done? Finish the job of deregulation started in the late '70s (thank you, Alfred Kahn!) and reduce useless red tape and government bureaucracy in air traffic control, foreign-ownership rules, and more. Just ask Robert W. Poole, founder of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason Online and the print mag, and an expert in all things aviation.