What are the top 10 airlines that have the best record for on-time arrival?


Quick Answer

The top 10 airlines for on-time arrival, in order of best to worst are Alaska, Delta, Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue, US Airways, United, Air Canada, Spirit and American. All of these airlines are American carriers, and rank far behind global carriers in terms of on-time arrivals. Alaska's number one spot is based on its record of 86.44 percent on-time flights and a 44.37 minute delay time on average.

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Full Answer

One reason that Alaska may rank so high on the list of on-time arrivals is that it's based in Seattle and has comparatively fewer flights to the East Coast. Weather-related delays due to snow and ice are consequently less common. Alaska also utilizes new satellite-based navigation technology that helps it to fly under low-visibility conditions.

Delta maintains on-time arrival by shortening the amount of time the plane taxis on the runway and by loading and unloading baggage more quickly. American, on the other hand, has consistently ranked low for several years. Southwest may have a higher ranking on-time arrival score, but has ranked low for baggage handling, likely because they do not charge baggage fees and accept late checked bags. This means that they have a disproportionately large volume of luggage to manage, which can also exacerbate delays.

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