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Want to Be On Time? Fly Hawaiian, Delta, Alaska, or … Spirit

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From June 2018 through May 2019, Hawaiian Airlines was the most reliable U.S. airline to get travelers to their destinations on time, according to a recent analysis.

Delta and Alaska Airlines followed close behind in on-time performance, arriving on time in 83.4% and 80.7% of their flights, respectively. That's according to the report from OAG, a massive airline and airport data firm.

But it was notorious budget airline Spirit that placed fourth in on-time ranking over the six-month span, as the ultra-low cost carrier continues to shed its image as an unreliable airline. 80.4% of Spirit flights in that period arrived on time – up from less than 74% just three years ago.

These biannual reports paint one of the clearest pictures of which airlines will reliably get you on time … and which won't. Here's a look at all the major U.S. airlines and their on-time performances.


Airline on time rankings


Our Analysis

There are a few major takeaways here worth highlighting:

  • As expected, United and American lag far behind their fellow top U.S. airline, Delta
  • This data does reflect some of the troubles caused by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, which began in March. Southwest, United, and American have been affected
  • But it doesn't reflect a more recent stretch of even poorer performance by American, which is struggling with its mechanic's union
  • Spirit defies the trend with budget airlines. Allegiant, Frontier, and Sun Country all struggled to deliver passengers on time
  • While JetBlue was among the worst U.S. airlines, the New York City-based airline is actually improving its on-time performance



Bottom Line

Nobody wants to be delayed on their flights. And while there are flukes, this data from a six-month span should give you some indication of which airlines will get you there on time, and which might be worth avoiding.


Lead photo courtesy of Tomas del Coro via Flickr

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

  • I flew Frontier Airlines 3 times and I arrived a little bit late like 5 minutes late at MKE, MCI, and DCA Airports. Not that bad for Frontier Airlines. Yeah, I heard very often that Spirit Airlines often arrived very late plus they charged for some items not like other airlines. Yeah, I know that Spirit Airlines always offers very LOWEST fares, but things at Spirit Airlines always are charged too much.

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