How U.S. Airlines are classified for punctual flights

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This holiday travel season could be more difficult compared to the previous one, as the growing demand for domestic travel is combined with the labor shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to form the perfect storm for to delays and cancellations of last minute flights. Therefore, travelers will want to know which airlines they can trust to take them to their destination in a timely manner. The Family Vacation Guide has recently analyzed data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) ‘Punctual Statistics and Causes of Delay’ to determine which airlines are most likely to face delays and cancellations. The following classifications are based on two-year data from July 2019 to July 2021.

Allegiant Air is a low-cost airline based in Phoenix, Arizona. Allegiant Air offers low-cost flights around the country, but saving money may come at the expense of passengers’ time, as Allegiant comes lowest with an on-time rate of only 72.69 percent. That means one out of every four planes is either running late or has been canceled entirely.

JetBlue is marginally more punctual than Allegiant, but the New York-based low-cost carrier still has work to do when it comes to delivering customers to their destinations on time, with a 23.2 percent late or canceled record according to the latest BTS data.

Frontier Airlines may have the advantage over low-cost competitor Allegiant, but passengers will be disappointed by the airline’s on-time % of 78.76, which means that more than one out of every five flights is delayed or canceled.

Envoy Air, an American Airlines Group affiliate, is on time approximately four out of every five times (80.48 percent). That’s a decent enough rate to get in the top ten, but it’s not going to inspire trust in regional travelers.

American Airlines leads United by 0.05 percentage points, with an on-time arrival rate of 81.45 percent, just 0.05 percentage points higher than United. Over the Halloween weekend, American Airlines cancelled roughly 1,400 flights due to severe weather and staffing shortages.

Spirit Airlines’ no-frills approach to air travel is sometimes mocked, yet the carrier’s on-time % of 82.04 is far from laughable when compared to other domestic airlines. This score outperforms six other US airlines and is only 1.14 percentage points behind two others.

Low-cost airline Southwest Airlines’ boarding process may be divisive, but free bags and on-time flights are hard to beat. While Southwest had to scurry and eventually apologize to customers due to costly widespread delays and cancellations in October, the airline has been pretty steady in recent years, delaying or canceling less than 17% of its flights between July 2019 and July 2021.


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