Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Travel Seems Terrible, But Things Have Weirdly Gotten Better It's not all stress and hassle.

By Nina Zipkin


No one can argue that on the whole, going to the airport and flying in a metal tube is an irritating experience. Lines, delays and the occasional odd emotional support animal all taken together can be a bit much. But the next time you're stuck on the tarmac, you might take solace in the fact that there are aspects of air travel that are improving, even if you can't see or benefit from it right at that particular moment. Click through the slides for the breakdown.

Related: The 10 Worst Airports in the U.S.


To start, some perspective. Yes, it is true that the U.S. Department of Transportation received 18,148 complaints about air travel last year. But it's not even the worst it's been. The most complaints the department ever got was 44,813 in 1987.


In 2017, a little more than 80 percent of flights were on time. While that was down slightly from 2016 at 81.42 percent, it was an improvement over 2008 when 76 percent of flights were on time.


It seems that passengers' connection to the internet has gotten better. A recent study from travel ticket platform Routehappy found that 82 airlines provide Wi-Fi, up from 70 in January of 2017. The speed of connection that the research classified as the best is available on 16 percent of seat miles, up from 7.2 percent last year.

Bumping rate

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2017, airlines had the lowest rate of passengers being denied access to board their flights due to overbooking. The bumping rate was 0.34 for every 1,000 travelers, down from a rate of 0.62 in 2016.


The DOT also reported that in 2017, airlines said they had a mishandled baggage rate of 2.46 per 1,000 travelers, compared to 2.70 in 2016.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Starting a Business

I Wish I Knew These Four Things Before Starting My Own Business

Starting a business is hard work to say the least. These are four lessons I wish someone had shared with me before going solo, so I'm here to share them with you.

Side Hustle

These Brothers Had 'No Income' When They Started a 'Low-Risk, High-Reward' Side Hustle to Chase a Big Dream — Now They've Surpassed $50 Million in Revenue

Sam Lewkowict, co-founder and CEO of men's grooming brand Black Wolf Nation, knows what it takes to harness the power of side gig for success.


How a $10,000 Investment in AI Transformed My Career and Business Strategy

A bold $10,000 investment in AI and machine learning education fundamentally transformed my career and business strategy. Here's how adaption in the ever-evolving realm of AI — with the right investment in education, personal growth and business innovation — can transform your business.


What I Learned From Spending $5.9 Million on Marketing Last Year

Road-tested tips to 6X your revenue per lead, double your social media leads and increase sales conversations. I know because I lived it!

Science & Technology

3 Major Mistakes Companies Are Making With AI That Is Limiting Their ROI

With so many competing narratives around the future of AI, it's no wonder companies are misaligned on the best approach for integrating it into their organizations.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.