Is 80% Airline On-time Performance Really Acceptable?

Posted by William Herp on Mon, May 14, 2012

What would you do if once a week, as you headed out the door for work, your car wouldn’t start?

It's safe to assume you’d either get your car fixed, or get a new, more reliable car. What you almost certainly would not do would be to just put up with it and arrange your life around the knowledge that one day out of five – and you’d never know which day it would be – you wouldn’t be making it to work on time - or at all.

Yet that’s exactly what American travelers do every time they buy an airline ticket. They’re buying a service that won’t get them to their destination on time 20% of the time. Indeed, U.S. airlines now are celebrating the fact that they’ve IMPROVED their on-time performance to 80% in 2011. They’re also tickled that their mishandled baggage rate has dropped to 3.35 per 1,000 bags handled, that the number of passengers involuntarily denied boarding because of oversold flights fell to 0.78 per 10,000 passengers and that complaints fell to 1.19 per 10,000 passengers.

For all of its utility in American business life, airline travel is built around the notion of MASS travel. That leads to lots of bad experiences for travelers – even when they do arrive on time.

So we formed Linear Air, the USA’s first successful Very Light Jet Air Taxi service, around the concept of providing INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS TRAVELERS with the most efficient, most comfortable, and most cost effective air service possible. And that means getting your party of up to four where you want to go on time every time – and doing it for about what business travelers would pay for business class seats or last-minute coach tickets.

And when we say “on time” we aren’t making allowances for the two to three hours of ground time added to your day when you fly commercial out of congested airports that often are quite distant from your final destination. And we aren’t counting the padded flight times that airlines publish in an effort to keep their ‘on time’ performance statistics from looking even worse than they already are.” No, when we say “on time” we are referring to total door-to-door travel times that can be 30% to 40% shorter than making the same journey via an airline. Furthermore, “on-time” at Linear Air means “on your schedule, not ours.” If you want to depart at 5:45 a.m., we’ll depart at 5:45 a.m. If your meeting runs long, you don’t have to worry about missing your 3:00 p.m. return flight. We’ll wait for you.

Delays caused by weather, the Air Traffic Control system and even the occasional mechanical issue are still possible. But they’re rare at Linear Air.  For example, in the first quarter of 2012 we actually had exceeded our quarterly goal of 95% on-time operations, by flying 99% of our flights on time.

Meanwhile, your bags can NEVER be mishandled. You hand them to our staff when you arrive. We put them on the plane with you. And when you arrive, our staff hands them back to you. It’s that simple.  And since you personally arrange for your flight at 877-2-LINEAR (877-254-6327) or via our online booking at or, now for the first time ever, through internet search at Hipmunk, there’s zero chance that you’ll be denied boarding.

And our customers are so satisfied we simply don’t get complaints. Quite the opposite. Here’s a couple of examples of the kind of comments we get:

“I have nothing but praise for Linear Air. It’s almost impossible to get to my destination, which LA makes so easy and affordable.”

“The cost is worth it compared to commercial (airlines) for our type of travel. It’s perfect for hard-to-reach markets like Syracuse or Harrisburg. Linear Air makes travel so simple.”

That’s why we like to talk about how “efficient” our service is. It’s not only priced right, it saves our customers lots of time and greatly reduces their travel hassles. And it turns our customers into our best sales people. Using an analytical technique developed by faculty and researchers at the Harvard Business School, Linear Air consistently earns a 100% Net Promoter Score. When customers are asked how likely they are to refer a friend or colleague to a company’s service or product, a score of 9 or 10 classifies a customer as a “promoter.” A score of 1 to 6 classifies them as a “detractor.” When the total number of “detractors” is subtracted from the total number of “promoters,” you get a “net” score, which in our case consistently is a Net Promoter Score above 100%.

For us at Linear Air, 100% of customers being willing to recommend us to a friend or colleague is a point of pride. And it’s another really good reason for business travelers to give us a try.

See you on board!


Tags: airlines, airline seats, airline delays, air taxi

Subscribe by Email