The Least Reliable Airlines in America—And the Rest of the World

If you're looking for stress-free travel, you might want to avoid these unreliable airlines.

Few things are more frustrating than a delayed or canceled flight—seriously, this shows just how insane flight delays can be. Fortunately, a 2019 study published by Get Going Insurance determined which airlines are the least reliable—so we don’t have to learn the hard way.

What is the least reliable airline in the United States?

The study was based on airlines’ number of flights and how many of them were delayed or canceled. The study also includes how long the average delay is per airline along with customer and safety ratings. According to the study, the least reliable airline in the United States is Frontier Airlines, a Denver-based airline with the slogan “Low fares done right.” About 1.80 percent of Frontier Airlines’ flights are canceled, and 30.61 percent are delayed. The average delay is a whopping 65.6 minutes long. While their safety rating is a perfect 10/10, their customer satisfaction rating is an unsurprising 3/10. The second least reliable airline in the U.S. is American Airlines, with 2.39 percent of their flights canceled, 18.07 percent of them delayed, and an average delay lasting 61 minutes. Their safety rating is 10/10 and their customer rating is 3/10. (Sometimes flights get delayed for the strangest reasons—these 12 flights that had some bizarre setbacks.)

How about the rest of the world?

We’re sure you’re wondering then what the least reliable airlines in the world are—turns out, Frontier and American Airlines carry the flag in that category as well. The third least reliable airline in the world, and the worst non-U.S.-based one, is Vueling Airlines, headquartered in the Greater Barcelona area in Spain. 1.78 percent of their flights are canceled, 23.74 percent are delayed, and the average delay lasts 55.2 minutes. While their safety rating is 10/10, their customer satisfaction is 3/10. (If you really want to play it safe, this is the best time of day to fly to avoid delays.)

Have you ever booked a flight on the following 20 airlines? Check out the rest of the study for a more detailed look at the ratings.

Top 10 least reliable airlines in the world:

  1. Frontier Airlines
  2. American Airlines
  3. Vueling
  4. Jetstar
  5. Air Canada
  6. LOT Polish Airlines
  7. Norwegian
  8. JetBlue
  9. SpiceJet
  10. Avianca

Top 10 most reliable airlines in the world:

  1. Japan Airlines
  2. KLM City Hopper
  3. IndiGo
  4. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  5. Azul
  6. Emirates
  7. Qatar Airways
  8. ANA
  9. Jet Airways
  10. Finnair

Now that you know which airlines are the least and most reliable, these are the best and worst airports for holiday travel.

Brittany Gibson
Brittany Gibson is a regular contributor to RD.com’s culture, food, health, and travel sections. She was previously an editorial intern for RD.com and Westchester Magazine. Her articles have appeared on Buzzfeed, Business Insider, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, among other sites. She earned a BA in English from the University of Connecticut