Airlines With the Most Flight Delays Last Year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

We’ve all been there. Your flight’s delayed. Some of us have even had to sleep at the airport. Airline delays are a part of life, but guess what? We don’t have to live with them forever.

The team at travel research engine WanderBat used data from the Bureau of Transportation Services to rank every domestic airline by flight difficulties.

Here’s a look at the past 12 months of the most recently available airline data (March 2015 through February 2016), with the percent of flights from each airline that experienced an arrival delay or a cancellation.

Yeah, we know there’s more to airlines than being on time, such as quality of service, pricing, seating, etc. This list is purely based on being on time. But, you’ll see the data suggests that budget airlines tend to experience more delays and cancellations, on average, so… sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

#1. Delta Air Lines

 

Percent of Delta Flights Delayed or Canceled: 28.5%
8% Lower than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 32 minutes

Total Delta Flights: 888,058

#2. Alaska Airlines

 

Percent of Alaska Flights Delayed or Canceled: 32.7%
3.8% Lower than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 22 minutes

Total Alaska Flights: 174,674

#3. United Air Lines

 

Percent of United Flights Delayed or Canceled: 35.3%
1.2% Lower than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 40 minutes

Total United Flights: 519,798

#4. American Airlines

 

Percent of American Flights Delayed or Canceled: 36.0%
0.5% Lower than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 34 minutes

Total American Flights: 789,110

#5. Hawaiian Airlines

 

Percent of Hawaiian Flights Delayed or Canceled: 37.3%
0.8% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 14 minutes

Total Hawaiian Flights: 76,183

#6. Southwest Airlines

 

Percent of Southwest Flights Delayed or Canceled: 37.7%
1.2% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 29 minutes

Total Southwest Flights: 1,273,020

#7. SkyWest Airlines

 

Percent of SkyWest Flights Delayed or Canceled: 39.0%
2.5% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 33 minutes

Total SkyWest Flights: 598,485

#8. ExpressJet Airlines

 

Percent of ExpressJet Flights Delayed or Canceled: 39.3%
2.8% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 36 minutes

Total ExpressJet Flights: 558,810

#9. Virgin America

 

Percent of Virgin Flights Delayed or Canceled: 40.0%
3.5% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 31 minutes

Total Virgin Flights: 63,274

#10. JetBlue Airways

 

Percent of JetBlue Flights Delayed or Canceled: 40.2%
3.7% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 39 minutes

Total JetBlue Flights: 270,468

#11. Frontier Airlines

 

Percent of Frontier Flights Delayed or Canceled: 41.8%
5.3% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 40 minutes

Total Frontier Flights: 91,943

#12. Spirit Air Lines

 

Percent of Spirit Flights Delayed or Canceled: 51.9%
15.4% Higher than the National Average
Average Length of Delay: 40 minutes

Total Spirit Flights: 121,948

Note: Envoy Air and US Airways were excluded from the list, because you can no longer book flights with them (their last flights were in 2015). Envoy Air is now a subsidiary of American Airlines Group. US Airways merged with American Airlines.