When it comes to travel metrics--especially airline ones--the "easier" year-over-year comparisons to last fall's dreadful data that everyone expected are starting to roll in. First out of the gate are standard, monthly airline traffic reports for September. [more]
The results are clear and unsurprising: nearly every major U.S. carrier posted its first systemwide increase in total revenue passenger miles in months, or at least the smallest declines.
Delta is the lone exception. Its September traffic was down about 5 percent in September versus a year earlier, after decreases of less than 3 percent in both July and August.
Otherwise, AirTran (+11 percent), JetBlue (+10 percent), Continental (+7 percent) and Alaska (+1 percent) each reported their first increase in months, reversing reductions reported for July and August. Southwest's September traffic jumped 9 percent after more modest increases during previous months this year.
Year-over-year systemwide traffic reductions for September at American (-4 percent), US Airways and United (each -1 percent) all were narrower than in previous months.