US carriers and airports in the west have best on-time performance

September 17, 2014 |

New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics found that travelers in the western portion of the country are more likely to have their flights arrive on time. According to Skift, western U.S. airlines had poor performance when it came to on-time arrivals in the last 20 years.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that 74.4 percent of flights arrived on time between January and July. It was the sixth lowest on-time percentage in 20 years. Also, 2.9 percent of flights were canceled during the seven month period, the third-highest in the last two decades.

Skift stated that airlines and airports blamed the polar vortex experienced in January as the reason for so many cancelations and delayed flights. It was during the winter of 2014 when temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and felt like -40 degrees Fahrenheit, leading many people to cancel business travel and vacation getaways.

As for on-time flights, airports in the West had the highest rate. According to the data, Salt Lake City International Airport had an 84.7 percent on-time arrival rate and an 86 percent on-time departure rate, the best all of U.S. cities from January through July.

Other airports that topped the rankings for the best on-time arrival percentages included:

  •  Seattle, Washington (81.26 percent)
  • Detroit, Michigan (80.52 percent)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (79.92 percent)
  • Miami, Florida (79.87 percent)
  • Phoenix, Arizona (79.44 percent)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina (79.04 percent)
  • Atlanta, Georgia (78.87 percent)
  • Portland, Oregon (78.69 percent)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (76.19 percent)

The airports with the best on-time departure performance included the same airports as above as well as Boston (78.92 percent), Washington, D.C. (78.79 percent), and Los Angeles (77.65 percent).

The airlines with the highest on-time and departure rates were Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. According to Skift, these airlines likely ranked at the top because they didn’t fly in areas where the snow and wintry weather was heaviest in 2014. On-time rates for legacy carriers were:

  • Delta Air Lines: 81.58 percent
  • US Airways: 79.05 percent
  • American Airlines: 75.43 percent
  • United Airlines: 74.87 percent