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These 5 U.S. Airlines Have The Most Delays Right Now

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After its infamous holiday meltdown just a few months ago, Southwest Airlines had another technology issue that led to more than 2,200 flight delays on Tuesday.

Although the technology issue cleared up in the afternoon, it was still too late to avoid delays and backups caused by the ground stop earlier that morning.

Woman waiting at airport for delayed flight

In December, Southwest had an even larger meltdown that resulted in more than 17,000 flights being canceled during a busy 10-day period around the holidays.

This made many people question whether or not it was safe to book with Southwest due to the airline's unreliability.

But surprisingly, Southwest isn't even the worst offender when it comes to flight delays.

Which Airlines Have The Most Delays?

The United States Department of Transportation maintains data on airline delays and on-time arrivals.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an on-time arrival is one that occurs within 15 minutes of the flight's scheduled arrival time.

Woman standing in front of flight departures board

Based on the most recent data available from 2022, these are the airlines with the worst track record for on-time flights.

1. Allegiant Air

Coming in at the top (or rather, bottom) of the pack is Allegiant Air.

This budget airline saw a mere 63.39% of flights be on time in 2022. Nearly a third of all scheduled flights (32.83%) were delayed, and a further 3.52% were canceled.

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Allegiant Air

2. JetBlue

JetBlue is another airline with a bad track record when it comes to delays.

The airline had just 64.63% of flights be on time last year. This means that 31.27% of all flights were delayed and 3.74% were canceled (the highest number of any airline.)

Close Up Of JetBlue Aircraft Flying Over A Beach Zone In Sint Marteen, In The Dutch Caribbean, Kingdom of the Netherlands

3. Frontier Airlines

Another airline in the United States with lots of delays is Frontier Airlines.

This airline only had 66.1% on-time flights in 2022. Additionally, 30.86% of all scheduled flights were delayed, and 2.87% were canceled.

Frontier Airlines

4. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is another U.S. budget carrier that has a poor record for on-time arrivals.

Although slightly better than Frontier, only 72.96% of all scheduled flights arrived on time in 2022, while 23.87% of flights were delayed and 3% were canceled.


5. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines fell solidly in the middle of the pack last year when it comes to major U.S. airlines. These numbers were heavily affected by the mass cancelations and delays of December 2022.

Throughout the year, Southwest had a 73.18% rate on on-time arrivals, and 23.35% were delayed while a further 3.26% were canceled.

southwest planes

Which Airlines Have The Least Delays?

While this data shows the airlines with the most delays and the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals, what about the airlines with the least delays?

Here's a look at the top five U.S. airlines with the most on-time arrivals in 2022, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

delta air lines aircraft
  1. Delta Air Lines: 82.53% on-time arrivals
  2. United Airlines: 79.01% on-time arrivals
  3. Alaska Airlines: 77.28% on-time arrivals
  4. Hawaiian Airlines: 75.77% on-time arrivals
  5. American Airlines: 74.94% on-time arrivals

With a difference of nearly 19 percentage points between the number of on-time arrivals for the best and worst airlines, it's clear that some airlines are better than others when it comes to avoiding delays.

united airlines aircraft take off

Other Ways To Avoid Flight Delays

While there's no guaranteed way to avoid a delayed flight, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing a flight delay or cancellation.

This helpful guide contains several tips you can use to avoid flight delays and cancellations the next time you travel, such as booking early-morning flights and choosing nonstop flights instead of flights with layovers.

Read More:

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