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With Vacationers Home, Airlines Boost On-Time Mark

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File photo of Southwest Airlines planes. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Airlines are doing a better job of staying on schedule now that fewer people are flying.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Wednesday that 83.8 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in September, compared to September 2012′s 83.3 percent rate. It was a bigger improvement over July and August, when summer vacationers packed the nation’s airports and about one in four flights arrived late.

Hawaiian Airlines held its usual top spot with 95 percent of flights arriving within 14 minutes of schedule. Of the 16 reporting carriers, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines ranked last, with a 76 percent on-time mark.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said “unexpected summer weather” and schedule changes caused delays and the carrier is working to improve.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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