America's Best Airline? DOT Confirms Hawaiian Airlines as America's Most Reliable in 2004

HONOLULU -- For Hawaiian Airlines, 2004 will be remembered as the year that Hawaii's largest and longest-serving carrier became America's most reliable.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report for December, issued today, shows that Hawaiian Airlines led the nation in service for 2004. Hawaiian was #1 in punctuality, #2 in baggage handling and boarding reliability and in the top five on consumer complaints. No airline was better.

“This past year the people of Hawaiian Airlines raised the bar on service, not just for Hawaii but the nation,” said Joshua Gotbaum, Hawaiian's Trustee. “Even more impressive is that the best keeps getting better: This year Hawaiian introduced the nation to Baggage Direct, so our customers don't have to lug their bags to the airport and through security. And next month, we're getting rid of the need to stand in line for interisland flights, by letting customers book their seats in advance.”

Hawaiian averaged a 93.9% on-time performance for 2004, topping the industry every single month and easily outshining all other carriers. Just how much better was Hawaiian? No other airline came within 10 percentage points. After Hawaiian, the remaining top five in punctuality for 2004 were SkyWest Airlines, 82.7 percent; JetBlue Airways, 81.8 percent; Southwest Airlines, 80.1 percent; and ATA Airlines, 79.8 percent. The industry average for the year was 78.1 percent – 15.8 percentage points behind Hawaiian. According to DOT standards, a flight needs to arrive within 15 minutes of schedule to be considered on time.

Hawaiian was a top performer in the other three DOT consumer service measures:

Hawaiian finished 2004 with the second best record in handling customers' luggage, with 2.85 mishandled baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers. With its new Baggage Direct service, Hawaiian expects to do even better in the future.

The airline also had the industry's second-best mark for oversales. For every 100,000 passengers served, two were involuntary denied boarding. The industry average was four times as many.

As for consumer complaints, DOT recorded only 26 against Hawaiian during the year out of 5.6 million passengers served – less than five for every one million passengers.

December – Hawaiian #1 for Punctuality and Handling Luggage

The DOT's monthly report for December showed that Hawaiian wrapped up 2004 with a flourish, finishing #1 in punctuality and handling customers' luggage, and near the top in the other three categories: flight cancellations #2, oversales #3, and consumer complaints #3.

Hawaiian recorded a 93.8 percent on-time performance for December topping all carriers for the 14th consecutive month. The rest of the top five after Hawaiian were Continental Airlines, 75.7 percent; AirTran Airways, 75.4 percent; United Airlines, 74.3 percent; and Southwest Airlines, 74.0 percent. The industry average for punctuality was 71.6 percent, which trailed Hawaiian by a whopping 22.2 percentage points.

Hawaiian also had the industry's top score in December for handling customers' luggage, recording only 2.58 mishandled baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers served.

The company had only 12 cancellations out of nearly 4,000 flights, the industry's second-lowest percentage at 0.3 percent.

Oversales, which DOT reports on a quarterly basis, showed Hawaiian had the third-best results for the fourth quarter. Only eight passengers out of 1.3 million served were involuntarily denied boarding, representing only six hundredths of one percent for every 10,000 passengers.

DOT received only one consumer complaint about Hawaiian in December, producing the industry's third-best score at 0.23 percent for every 100,000 passengers served.

The DOT report covers 19 airlines, including seven carriers providing service to Hawaii. The full report is available online at

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines, the nation's number one on-time carrier, is recognized as one of the best airlines in America. Readers of two prominent national travel magazines, Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, have both rated Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii in their most recent rankings, and the fifth best domestic airline overall.

Celebrating its 75th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii's biggest and longest-serving airline, and the second largest provider of passenger air service between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities than any other airline. Hawaiian also provides approximately 100 daily jet flights among the Hawaiian Islands, as well as service to Australia, American Samoa and Tahiti.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (AMEX and PCX: HA). Since the appointment of a bankruptcy trustee in May 2003, Hawaiian Holdings has had no responsibility for the management of Hawaiian Airlines and has had limited access to information concerning the airline. Additional information is available at