The Most (and Least) Delayed Airlines Out There

Be sure to take these ratings into account when booking your next flight!

Some people are very loyal to specific airlines and some people just pick the airline that’s cheapest. But if you’ve ever been stuck in the airport for hours and hours because of a flight delay, you might be willing to spend a little more to fly with an airline that is less likely to have delays. If you are after the cheapest tickets, this is the best day to buy airline tickets.

Luckily for travelers, the United States Department of Transportation is always keeping track of the most on-time airlines so that people know which one is the most reliable to fly with. According to the DOT, an “on-time” arrival occurs when a plane reaches the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time. Sadly, for some airlines, that doesn’t happen very often. 

The least punctual airline of all U.S. carriers was Frontier which had an average on-time arrival of 73.14 percent. Coming in just above that was JetBlue with an on-time arrival of 73.5 percent. At the very top of the list, with the most on-time arrivals was Hawaiian with 87.72 percent. And Delta took the number two spot with 83.46 percent. Besides delayed flights, these are the things airlines don’t want to tell you about (but every traveler should know).

Here’s the full list so you can get a better idea of which airlines tend to be on-time the most.

Carrier
On-Time Arrival Pct.
1Hawaiian*87.72
2Delta*83.46
3Alaska*81.31
4Southwest80.24
5Spirit79.52
6Allegiant78.73
7American*77.43
8United *75.18
9JetBlue73.5
10Frontier73.14
All Airlines78.97

*Includes branded code-share partners

Now that you know which airlines are the best at getting you to your destination on time, learn about some of the wackiest and bizarre reasons flights are delayed in the first place.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.