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These 5 U.S. Airlines Are Most Likely To Experience Flight Delays Right Now

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The holidays are just around the corner, leading to some of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Flight delays are extremely common at this time of year, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Flying can already be a stressful experience, but delays can make it even more of a hassle.

Woman Waiting at Airport

Some of the best ways to avoid flight delays are to book with an airline with a high rate of on-time flights and to book a flight early in the morning — statistically speaking, it's much less likely to be delayed than one later in the day.

According to new data from UpgradedPoints, these are the U.S. airlines that are most likely to experience flight delays right now.

Woman Waiting On Delayed Flight

1. Frontier Airlines

The worst airline for flight delays right now is Frontier Airlines. Flights with this budget carrier have a 31.9% chance of being delayed.

Rather than roll the dice and risk an almost 1-in-3 chance of having your flight delayed, it's better to choose a more reliable airline for flights this winter.

Frontier is also currently facing other issues, including a class-action lawsuit over the airline's $599 “unlimited flight” pass that was launched earlier this year.

Frontier Airlines Planes

2. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines had a massive meltdown last year right around Christmas, leading to thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Many travelers questioned whether booking with Southwest was safe in light of the total operations failure. And while it's likely that Southwest will be working extra hard to avoid a repeat incident this winter, you may not want to take your chances.

And according to historical data, Southwest flights still have a 31.8% chance of being delayed, making the airline almost as unreliable as Frontier.

Southwest plane flying against a blue sky

3. JetBlue

Another less-than-reliable airline with a high chance of delayed flights is JetBlue. This New York-based carrier does not have the best track record when it comes to on-time flights.

Although it's not quite as bad as Frontier or Southwest, flying on JetBlue means that you still have a whopping 30.8% chance of flight delays when you travel.

JetBlue plane on the runway

4. Allegiant Air

Next up on the list of airlines likely to have delays is Allegiant Air. This budget airline is not particularly reliable, so even though you may save money booking your flight, you might also have to contend with unexpected delays.

Allegiant Air flights have a 29.2% chance of being delayed.

Allegiant Airlines plane

5. Spirit Airlines

Finally, we have Spirit Airlines. Although this budget carrier is the butt of many jokes for being a less-than-ideal way to travel, it's actually not as bad as some other U.S. airlines when it comes to delays.

When flying with Spirit, you have a 28.1% chance of experiencing a flight delay.

Spirit Airlines plane

Which Airlines Have The Least Delays?

So now that you know which airlines are most likely to experience flight delays right now (and which airlines to avoid!), here are the airlines with the least delays.

Although you might be tempted by ultra-low fares with an airline like Frontier or Spirit, it can be worth the extra money to book with a more reliable airline.

Woman at airport looking out the window at planes on the tarmac

Here are the top three airlines with the least delays right now:

  • Alaska Airlines: 20.3% chance of delay
  • Delta Air Lines: 19.1% chance of delay
  • Hawaiian Airlines: 15.6% chance of delay

Flights can be delayed for many reasons, including problems with the aircraft, staffing issues, weather, and more, but these three airlines experience the fewest delays.

There's no surefire way to avoid flight delays (as nice as that would be!), but you can check out this guide for some more tips on how to escape the dreaded delay or cancellation.

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