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US airlines 'on time' rankings released by government

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.

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Alan July 11 2014 at 7:16 AM

"On Time" means nothing anymore because the airlines pad the times. For an hour flight, they make it 1:45 to make up for any delays. My flights from PBI to ATL used to be 1:30. Now suddenly, they are 1:50??? Must be the head winds.

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3 replies
lv2213frs July 11 2014 at 12:13 PM

Delta might get you there on time but good luck with getting your luggage if you have connecting flights. After losing mine for three day, they didn't even have an apology to offer.

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otwpalm July 11 2014 at 8:45 AM

Why is the government concerned about the timeliness of airlines? Are they also concerned about subways, buses and passenger trains? Stupid waste of taxpayers money.

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3 replies
Jay July 11 2014 at 6:18 AM

Like I always say.......Never fly an American flagged air carrier if possible.

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2 replies
Practical Nomad Jay July 11 2014 at 7:55 AM

Do you always say that Jay? I'll apply your words of wisdom in all I do today! I mean, if Jay said it, it must be true! You've changed my life Jay, your inspiration has no boundaries! Thank you!

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ramonbatt Jay July 11 2014 at 8:59 AM

Jay? I fly around the world. I prefer the American flag carrier any time! Get it?

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wal July 11 2014 at 11:42 AM

AS far as mu own experience Delta is the WORSE airline in the United States.
They left me stranded in Dallas and I had to buy a ticket from another airlines to get to my destination and they would not refund my money.

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cd_anders July 11 2014 at 11:14 AM

Delta 3rd rated on time airline? Doesn't say much for our overall ratings then. They are horrible. Family flew in, were due on Tuesday night and didn't get in until Wednesday night. Flight was delayed two hours so they missed connections and the following day, their flight was delayed once again and they didn't get in until 6:00pm Wednesday. So there is two days of their vacation coming. On the way home, their flight was delayed from 5:30PM till 8:30 PM. Missed connection in Atlanta. Didn't get home to their house, an hour from
the airport, until 4:00 AM. Four days travelling and they missed a day of work besides. Personally, the three times that I have flown Delta, we have been in a dead run between our arrival gate and our connecting flight. Our luggage never makes it.
The same was true for another set of friends that came on Delta. Both coming here and returning home, a day without their luggage. So who the heck rates this airline?

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1 reply
betsyann103 cd_anders July 11 2014 at 3:20 PM

I have never had a positive experience with Delta in over 20 yrs., the worst airline ever. Who does the ratings on this site? obviously someone who has never flown Delta.

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peteswarr July 11 2014 at 8:30 AM

Sometimes it works out well. I was caught in traffic going to ATL and was an hour late for my flight. I was going to just catch the next one, but mine was an hour and a half late so I just walked right on board.

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impactvqi July 11 2014 at 1:18 PM

Delta is still #1 in lousy customer service

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gcarlson007 July 11 2014 at 1:18 PM

If you want to "roll some dice", fly United. I'll avoid them and don't mind paying more to do it!

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dickn2000b July 11 2014 at 3:13 PM

I don't care who number three is. I want to know who number one is. Why not make who number one is the headline? More poor "journalism" from the Fluffpost Flakes.

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