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Airlines staying on schedule slightly more often

U.S. airlines are doing a slightly better job of keeping flights on schedule although more than one in five flights still arrives late.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that 77.8 percent of domestic flights in December arrived within 15 minutes of schedule - that's on-time, according to the government.

That's up from 75.3 percent the previous December, although it's down from November's 83.7 percent on-time rate.

Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time performance. Spirit Airlines had the worst.

Spirit also had the highest complaint rate, more than twice as high as its nearest rival, Frontier Airlines. Hawaiian had the lowest complaint rate.

Passengers on 14 December flights were stuck on the ground longer than allowed by federal rules.

Here are the government's rankings of the leadingairlines and their on-time performance for December. The federal government counts a flight as on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of schedule.

1. Hawaiian Airlines, 93.0 percent

2. Alaska Airlines, 85.3 percent

3. Delta Air Lines, 83.6 percent

4. Envoy Air, 80.4 percent

5. American Airlines, 79.2 percent

6. United Airlines, 77.9 percent

7. ExpressJet, 77.3 percent

8. Southwest Airlines, 76.1 percent

9. Frontier Airlines, 75.0 percent

10. SkyWest Airlines, 72.9 percent

11. Virgin America, 71.1 percent

12. JetBlue Airways, 70.1 percent

13. Spirit Airlines, 68.7 percent

Total, 77.8 percent

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