How Often Do Delta Airlines Flights Arrive Late?


Quick Answer

Approximately 17 out of 100 Delta flights are late, very late or excessively late, as of 2015. The airline shows an 81 percent on-time rating for its flights, diverting or canceling the remaining two of 100 flights.

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Full Answer

Of Delta's 20 most active flights, the Atlanta to LaGuardia flight is the most likely to be late, with only 77 percent of flights arriving on time. The average delay for this itinerary is 32 minutes, but at least one flight was 5 hours and 22 minutes late arriving at the airport. The return flight on this route has a higher number of on-time landings at 81 percent, but when there are delays, they are longer, averaging 51 minutes, with the longest being 11 hours. Flights from Jacksonville, Florida to Atlanta have the highest number of successful on-time flights at 88 percent.

Many airlines now pad the flight times to increase the number of on-time flights. While arriving early may seem beneficial, it also causes problems. When flights land prior to their printed arrival time, there is a good chance an earlier flight is still at the gate, leaving passengers sitting on the tarmac in the plane for longer periods before they exit the aircraft. Padded flight schedules cause passengers to book later connecting flights, leaving them longer delays in airports and extending the time to reach their destination.

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