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The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines in July

UAL’s woes get worse with delays on more than a third of flights

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July was a tough month for travelers as U.S. airlines lost some of their recent gains in on-time performance and lost or mishandled baggage, according to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) most recent Air Travel Consumer Report.

Although all 15 airlines tracked by DOT lost some altitude compared to June’s monthly statistics, United Continental (NYSE:UAL) was the proverbial skunk at the garden party with more than one-third of its flights delayed and consumer complaints soaring more by nearly 50% during the month.

Collectively, U.S. airlines reported an on-time arrival rate of only 76% — down from their 77.8% performance in July 2011 and the 80.7% rate they posted in June 2012. To make matters worse, consumer complaints skyrocketed in July to 2,466 — up nearly 92% from the year earlier.

Here’s the breakdown of July 2012’s best and worst airlines as measured by performance in three areas: on-time flights, mishandled baggage and complaints:

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