Fed report: flights up in 2021 compared to prior year

Air travel
Mark Prado

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact air travel, although more people flew in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the U.S. DOT's latest report.

The volume of flights operated in 2021 (6.2 million), although more than 2020, was only 78.1% of the volume of flights operated in pre-pandemic 2019 (7.9 million).  

The 566,465 flights operated in December 2021 were 85.2% of the 672,765 flights operated in pre-pandemic December 2019. Operated flights in December 2021 were up 45.6% year-over-year from the 393,549 flights operated in December 2020 and down 1.2% month-over-month from the 573,134 flights operated in November 2021. 

The report includes which airlines had the best and worst on time records, which carriers canceled the most flights and how much baggage was mishandled, among other factoids. 

Other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at The report is designed to inform consumers about the quality of the services that airlines provide.

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