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Avoid Flight Delays! The Best & Worst Airlines for On-Time Travel

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Each month, the Department of Transportation publishes its Air Travel Consumer Report, with information you need to know to avoid flight delays. Keep reading to learn the airlines (and the flights) that will keep you running late and the airline that will get you to your destination on time.

The Best Airlines for On-Time Performance

1. Arrive on Time with Hawaiian

Photo credit: Dylan Ashe

Flying in and out of Hawaii’s gentle climate put Hawaiian Airlines in the leads with the least amount of delayed flights. An overwhelming 93.5 percent of its flights arrived on time between August 2012-August 2013 (the most recent figures available). It was the only airline to hold the number one spot for on-time arrivals for all of 2012.

2. Alaska Airlines Flies on Schedule

Photo Credit: Alaska Airlines

In second place comes Alaska Airlines with 86.9 percent of its flights arriving on time. Alaska had its best months in July through September of last year when almost 90 percent of its flights arrived on time.

3. On-Time Across the Country for Delta


Delta comes in at a respectable third place. Delta’s flights landed on time 84.6 percent of the time. Delta had a hard time arriving on time in June and July of this year. But last October through December, the airline had a great record landing in the number two spot.

The Worst Airlines for On-Time Performance

1. Expect to Wait the Longest with ExpressJet

Photo credit: Konstantin Von Wedelstaedt

This carrier was never able to make it out of the bottom ten for on-time arrival in the past year. It came in at a final 16th place with only 73.4 percent of its flights arriving on time. In June only 66 percent of flights landed on time. In many cases, it’s specific routes that suffer the most. Over the course of three months (June-August 2013) ExpressJet was chronically delayed between LaGuardia-Manchester/Boston and between LaGuardia -Charlotte Douglas.

2. JetBlue

jetblue a320

In second place for the worst arrival delays is JetBlue. The airline claimed the last spot for two months in a row earlier this year. More than 10 percent of JetBlue aircraft arrived late in August.

3. Frontier

Frontier Airlines plane

More than a quarter of Frontier flights arrived late. The airline ranked low for on-time arrivals throughout the past 12 months with the exception of this past June. Frontier jumped to the third place spot from 12th place but dropped again to the 11th spot.

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By Judith Retana for