Lonely Planet Writer

Which US airlines arrive on time most frequently

The most punctual airlines in the US have been revealed, and they show that the overall on-time arrival rate among carriers in 2018 was 79%, marking a 1% decline from 80% in 2017. According to findings by the US Department of Transportation in its Air Travel Consumer Report for 2018, Hawaiian Airlines was the most punctual airline in 2018 with an on-time performance rate of almost 88%.

The most punctual airlines in the US for 2018 have been revealed. Image: Frans Sellies/Getty Images

A flight is counted as “on-time” if it operated less than 15 minutes after the scheduled time shown in the carriers’ Computerized Reservations Systems. Hawaiian Airlines was followed by Delta Air Lines in second place at 83% and Alaska Airlines in third place at 83%. The rest of the top ten most punctual airlines were 4. Spirit Airlines 5. Southwest Airlines 6. United Airlines 7. American Airlines 8. Allegiant Airlines 9. JetBlue and 10. Frontier.

Hawaiian Airlines was the most punctual airline in the US in 2019. Image: Hawaiian Airlines

During the report, the causes of delay were given, and they included circumstances within the airline’s control, such as maintenance or crew problems. Then there were significant meteorological conditions that delayed or prevented the operation of a flight, as well as delays and cancellations attributable to the national aviation system, including heavy traffic volume, air traffic control, etc. Security delays caused by security breaches, inoperative screening equipment and long lines at screening areas were also categorised, as were delays caused by the late arrival of the aircraft, which caused the present flight to depart late.

Qatar Airways has been named the best airline in the world. Image: Digital Vision.

“Nature presented us with some operational challenges last year, including increased volcanic activity in East Hawaii and flooding on both ends of the island chain,” says Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines. “Our teams worked together to keep our flights operating safely and as punctually as possible.”

The US Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report ranking the nation’s 16 largest air carriers is available online here.