For most Americans there is an expectation of delays when traveling on major airlines. But the U.S. Department of Transportation's recently released Air Travel Consumer report, ranking major American airlines by 'timeliness,' proves that flight delays are not always the case.
Many factors were taken into consideration for these statistics from May 2014. Flights had to be non-stop within U.S. states and territories. According to the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, calculations were limited to the fourteen major airlines that carry at "least one percent of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenues."
A flight was considered to be "on time" if it arrived within 15 minutes of its scheduled time. The information was self-reported by the airline companies and the number of flights reported varied between 14 airlines, so these statistics should be viewed with that in mind. Between all 14 carriers, 76.9% of flights arrived as anticipated.
The report also breaks down which airline had the worst "on time" percentage based on major U.S. airport. In general, Newark Airport had the worst arrival time statistics. The highest "on time" rate was 72.6% by Alaska Airlines and the lowest was Southwest with 50%.
The carrier that reported the most regularly scheduled flights was Southwest with 3,708 (3,466 from Southwest and 242 from Airtran). The carrier that reported the least flights was Virgin America with 169. Hawaiian Airlines was second with only 198 reported flights.
Delta and Alaska Airlines had the least number of flights cancelled (.1%), while ExpressJet had the most (5.8%). Unsurprisingly, the flights that were chronically late were also the most likely to get your bags lost.