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The Boston Globe

Airlines are improving on-time performance

Carriers rethink complex task of leaving the gate

ATLANTA — Next time you dawdle at the duty-free store or an airport bar, thinking you have a few more minutes until your flight is set to go, know this: The plane’s doors might have already closed.

There is a lot to complain about in air travel, particularly during the holiday season, with seats and overhead bins filled to capacity and the airlines charging fees for everything from a few inches of extra leg room to a bite to eat. But there is a nugget of good news. The number of flights leaving and arriving on time has improved significantly in recent years.

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