The data we are sharing is based on the US market using the US DoT On-Time data. But we think the guidance offered will apply just about anywhere. When you travel by air your concern is less about when your flight leaves and more about when you arrive. It is true that if your flight has a late departure, the chances of arriving on time are lower. But airlines routinely fudge flight times to make their performance look good. Even if you bought the cheapest ticket, you are entitled to some expectation that you might get something close to what you bought.
It’s not just the passenger who wants things to run on time. Airlines do too – they don’t want to pay ground staff overtime. They don’t want their crews to go “out of hours” or “time out”. The schedule is important to both the travel provider and consumer.
Take a look at this chart to help you consider your travel options. The chart tells you to take the earliest flight in the day if you want to arrive on-time. As the day goes on, delays creep in and airlines never recover that “lost” time until after midnight. If you travel in the afternoon, it’s a fair bet you will hit a delayed arrival.
But here’s even more interesting news – not all the US airlines are alike. Take a look at the 2018 data – how about that rainbow? Click the chart to make it larger.
Do you want to minimize your delay? Fly as early as you can. And, if you’re flying in the United States, maybe try Alaska and Delta to get to your destination on-time.
Subscribers can drill down into the data by year, city pair and more using this link.