British Airways performed worse than any other major European airline, with more than two in five flights running late, according to figures released yesterday.
Not only did BA's punctuality figures leave it languishing alongside the Portuguese and Greek carriers, it was also among the worst airlines for losing baggage over the summer.
The latest performance league table, covering July to September, was released by the Association of European Airlines.
It was published within days of BA announcing that it had notched up a 25 per cent increase in profits for the first six months of the year.
This summer, while difficult, was the first in several years when Heathrow avoided major disruption at the height of the holiday season.
But the performance figures for this year were even worse than those for 2006, when British airports went into meltdown after the thwarting of an alleged plot to down transatlantic flights.
Only 58.8 per cent of short haul flights arrived at their destination less than 15 minutes late - nearly six per cent fewer than the same period last year.
The long-haul performance was even worse, with 45 per cent of flights reaching the terminal more than quarter of an hour after they should have done.
This figure again, was marginally worse than the previous year.
A startling number of BA flights also departed late - nearly 40 per cent in the case of short haul services and 41.3 per cent for long distance trips.
Again, this was worse than July to September last year and BA was also amongst the worst when it came to cancelling services outright.
With a cancellation rate of 1.5 per cent, only a handful of carriers - including Alitalia and Croatia Airlines - dropped more flights.
BA also was amongst the worst performers when it came to lost luggage with the airline mislaying 30 bags for every 1,000 passengers it carried.
This is the equivalent of around 10 bags on a full jumbo jet.
The only crumb of comfort for BA was that the Portuguese airline, TAP, was even worse when it came to losing luggage, mislaying 35.1 bags per 1,000 passengers.
While in many cases the lost luggage was reunited with passengers several days later, this was not always the case.
Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph disclosed that lost bags were being sold at auction.
"BA said they were putting measures in place to deal with the problem, but things do not seem to have got any better over the past six months," a spokesman for the Air Transport Users Council said yesterday.
Last night a spokesman for the airline said performance would improve when Heathrow Terminal 5 opens next March.
"These statistics have to be put into context. We operate out of one of the most congested airports in the world and the UK is the only country in Europe with restrictive hand baggage rules which put more pressure on hold baggage carried," he said.
"A security alert which closed T4 airside and landside, followed by extreme weather (floods and thunderstorms) in July, led to the cancellation of some 600 flights and a build up of baggage.
''Through this period we were also dealing with record levels of hold bags and transfer bags - at least 15 per cent up - because of the one bag hand baggage rule."
The spokesman added: "We are working hard to improve our performance and September's figures were a lot better than July and August."
Source Daily Telegraph
A 25% increase in profits coupled with joining the ranks of Europe's worst airlines, well done lads!