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These Are The Top 5 U.S. Airlines To Book If You Want To Avoid Delays Right Now

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Nothing puts a damper on your travel experience more than a flight delay – and that’s coming from someone who’s (luckily) never had to miss out on an appointment, meeting, or other pre-scheduled event due to it.

So, in an effort to take as much control as possible over how well (and fast) we travel this year, we’ve taken a look at Cirium’s latest performance report to find the airlines that give us the best odds of actually getting to our destination on time.

Southwest Airlines plane in Austin, Texas

But before we begin, I’ve got some bad news for you – February’s unbelievable improvement in terms of airline punctuality is officially over; though, on the bright side, the top players are still showcasing promising rates.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the best U.S. airlines you can book right now if you want to avoid delays at all costs:

5. Southwest Airlines

Southwest plane flying

America’s most popular carrier has, unfortunately, dropped to the 5th spot this month, though on-time performance rates are still above those recorded in January.

Still, considering that this is the only budget airline to make the list, the fact that it manages to go head-to-head with all these legacy airlines is nothing short of impressive.

Now, we all know that Southwest has often been at the center of controversy, with the latest public backlash focusing on how impractical the company’s plane redesign was – however, at the end of the day, if you want to go somewhere cheap and on time, Southwest is probably your best bet.

4. American Airlines

American Airlines airplane flying

On the fourth spot, we have North America’s biggest airline and, arguably, the industry’s most powerful player.

Again, there’s a lot, both good and bad, to be said about American Airlines' services, but handling such a massive influx of passengers and still managing to operate close to 78.5% of flights on time is no easy feat—clearly, the company’s state-of-the-art organization systems and skilled staff are doing an amazing job here.

And since the airline just launched the first-ever non-stop flight to one of the world’s trendiest destinations, that’s all the more reason to look into taking that dreamy getaway you’ve been planning for so long.

3. Alaska Airlines

Alaska plane from above

While most carriers are struggling to keep up with the competition right now, Alaska actually managed to outperform most of the country’s biggest airlines and climb a spot in the ranking from last month.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s still a drop in on-time performance from February, but the company managed to avoid delays on close to 79% of its flights – these are odds I’m willing to take.

Not to mention that people online are raving about the company’s customer service, so even if you do run into an issue or two, you can rest assured that there’ll be a great team to take care of you.

2. United Airlines

United Airlines aircraft taking off

United has held the runner-up spot on Cirium’s on-time performance rankings for months now, and this one’s no different.

Franky, given that the company flies over 5,000 planes a day (yes, you read that right) with an 82.82% punctuality rate, that title is more than deserved.

What’s more, the airline’s commitment to perfecting customer experience is always a breath of fresh air – remember how just last year they implemented changes to make it easier for families to travel together for free?

1. Delta Airlines

The underbelly of a plane with the Delta logo

Between being named the most punctual U.S. airline of the year, introducing a plethora of new flights to amazing destinations, and now re-establishing its stellar reputation through this list, it’s safe to say that Delta has been killing it lately.

Over 85.5% of the airline’s flights this past month departed and landed on time – that’s almost a 3-point lead from the runner-up, which leads us to believe that we can expect yet another Delta win next month.

Travelers right now especially love the free movies and great-tasting cookies, so if you want to avoid delays at all costs and actually have a good time while at it, booking a Delta flight is your best bet.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.