The on-time record of U.S. airlines got soaked by Superstorm Sandy, as late flights and cancelations surged in October.
The Department of Transportation said Tuesday that only 80.2 percent of flights in October arrived on time. That was worse than the 83.3 percent mark in September and the 85.5 percent rate in October 2011.
American Airlines had the worst on-time record for the second straight month, while Hawaiian Airlines held on to its usual perch on top of the government rankings.
The airlines canceled 2.8 percent of their domestic flights, nearly four times as many as September and in October 2011. Superstorm Sandy caused more than 12,000 cancelations — 83 percent of all canceled flights for the month. The storm battered the Northeast in late October, causing airlines to scrub flights in New York and other major cities.
JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and US Airways had the highest cancellation rates. All have many flights to and from the Northeast.
Airlines reported two flights that were held on the tarmac for at least three hours, both in Denver during a snowstorm on Oct. 24. One was operated by Frontier Airlines, the other by Shuttle America. Airlines can be fined for such long delays.