Complaints against airlines rise, Frontier ranks worst

Consumer complaints against airlines are rising even as the carriers get slightly better at staying on schedule.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday that it received more complaints from consumers in March than it did in either the previous month or March of 2014.

While the numbers are still very small - only about one in every 50,000 passengers complains to the government - they vary greatly among carriers.

Passengers on Frontier Airlines are 34 times more likely to complain than passengers on Southwest Airlines, which has the lowest complaint rate. Spirit Airlines has the second-worst rate.

The government says 78.7 percent of flights operated by the 14 largest airlines arrived on time in March, up from 72.8 percent in February and 77.6 percent in March 2014.

Here are the government's rankings of the leading airlines and their on-time performance for March. The federal government counts a flight as on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of schedule.

1. Hawaiian Airlines, 87.3 percent

2. Alaska Airlines, 85.6 percent

3. Delta Air Lines, 84.0 percent

4. SkyWest, 82.5 percent

5. Southwest Airlines, 80.0 percent

6. US Airways, 79.1 percent

7. Virgin America, 78.9 percent

8. United Airlines, 78.2 percent

9. ExpressJet, 76.2 percent

10. American Airlines, 75.4 percent

11. Spirit Airlines, 73.9 percent

12. JetBlue Airways, 71.5 percent

13. Envoy Air, 67.8 percent

14. Frontier Airlines, 65.2 percent

Total for all reporting airlines: 78.7 percent

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

The department also reported American and US Airways together as 77.0 percent. Both airlines and Envoy Air are owned by American Airlines Group Inc.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press modified.

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