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The US airlines most likely to arrive on time in the last year

Picture the scene: Your alarm wakes you at the crack of dawn. The suitcase you packed the night before stands accusingly in the corner. You brace yourself for the long ride to the airport and the even longer queue of security checks. To make matters worse, after dashing to the airport and getting through TSA, you discover your flight has been delayed.

There are many reasons delays happen: maintenance or crew problems, extreme weather, air traffic, etc. But, according to data from the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the most common reason for a delay between 2022 and 2023 was a late arriving aircraft, when one delayed flight creates a chain reaction of late departures and arrivals across an aircraft's flight path.

While flight delays are common, they are never enjoyable. Of course, there's the ennui. Sure, you can kill time on your phone and laptop, but the airport is hardly the best place to work or relax. Even more stress-inducing is the prospect that you arrive late. It's possible the pilot can make up the time in the air, but if you are flying for a wedding or a business meeting, a late arrival can ruin your trip.

Fortunately, the airlines are prompt most of the time, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report, published monthly by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. From November 2022 to October 2023, 76.6% of the national airlines surveyed arrived on time, compared to 77.65% from the year before (for context, a flight is still considered on time if it arrives no later than 15 minutes behind schedule). 

To determine which of the 15 surveyed domestic airlines had the highest rates of on-time arrivals, Airalo analyzed data from the Department of Transportation's Office of Aviation Consumer Protection from November 2022 to October 2023. Though nothing in air travel is guaranteed, this list may help you avoid unpleasant delays in the future.

#5. SkyWest Airlines

Markus Mainka // Shutterstock

- On-time arrivals: 81%

Despite flying for so many different brands—American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines—SkyWest Airlines made it into the top five on this list. Its friendly working environment might be the key. Forbes named SkyWest Airlines one of America's best large employers in 2022, the same year the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.

#4. Delta Air Lines

Markus Mainka // Shutterstock

- On-time arrivals: 81.2%

Delta Air Lines is the only company on this list that also ranks among the top three largest airlines in the U.S. Delta has invested $2 billion in new aircraft, cabins, and airport facilities in an attempt to make sure its flights arrive on time more often. Delta Air Lines has been awarded Cirium's Platinum Award three years in a row for its punctuality.

#3. PSA Airlines

Santiparp Wattanaporn // Shutterstock

- On-time arrivals: 81.8%

Now owned by American Airlines, PSA Airlines is a regional airline operating in the eastern half of the United States. It offers flights to destinations like Albany, New York, and Birmingham, Alabama, in addition to large cities like Charlotte, North Carolina. PSA Airlines stays true to its mission of "delivering satisfied customers to their destination, safely and on time."

#2. Endeavor Air

VIAVAL TOURS // Shutterstock

- On-time arrivals: 82.5%

Fun fact: Endeavor Air is the world's largest operator of the CRJ-900, an aircraft designed to weather the most extreme cold temperatures. Although Endeavor Air serves major hubs like Atlanta and New York, as well as numerous smaller airports in the East and Midwest, the airline still manages to keep most of its flights operating on schedule. Endeavor Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

#1. Republic Airways

Jaromir Chalabala // Shutterstock

- On-time arrivals: 82.7%

Flying for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, Republic Airways is another regional airline that has scored high for timeliness. Its excellent record could have something to do with its investment in pilot training. Republic boasts state-of-the-art simulators where pilots can practice all types of maneuvers in a safe virtual environment.

Story editing by Cu Fleshman. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Ania Antecka.

CORRECTION Feb. 27: The headline of this article has been corrected to reflect that it ranks airlines by their on-time arrival rates, not on-time departure rates.

This story originally appeared on Airalo and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

 

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