Airlines avoid three-hour flight delays, increase on-time performance

The DOT said it was investigating the Caribbean Airlines delay. Since the new rules took effect, airlines can be fined $27,500 for each passenger who is stranded on a plane.

The department's consumer report showed that airlines' on-time arrivals from January to August was the highest it had been in 18 years. Airlines had an 82.06 percent on-time rating from January to August, compared to a previous high of 81.92 for the same period in 2003.

The full DOT airline report can be read here