The hard work of U.S. airlines -- combined with a little help from Mother Nature -- is paying dividends. Airlines were on time more often in September 2007 than they were the same month in 2006, according to DOT figures. The 20 largest carriers reported an on-time arrival rate of 81.7% for the month, up from 76.2% a year ago. Carriers have worked hard to improve their on-time performance, according to a spokesman for the Air Transport Association.

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