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Delta Has Totally Stopped Canceling Flights

For airline geeks, the Department of Transportation’s monthly consumer travel report is a data trove (PDF) that can expose trouble spots in carriers’ operations. It’s also a way for airlines to keep score: Many of them pay out employee bonuses for good performance. Two things stick out from the newly released report on June:

Delta just doesn’t cancel. For all practical purposes, the nation’s third-largest airline no longer cancels flights. Delta scrubbed 19 flights in June—that’s out of 69,621 flights in total. Delta executives have become fanatical about eradicating flight cancellations, having found that passengers prefer flight delays to outright cancellations. “If that’s what customers hate most, let’s not cancel any more flights,” a Delta vice president told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.