Imagine if you could just rank every airline in the world by how often they get you where you’re going on time.
Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine. Airline data company OAG puts out airport and airline on-time star ratings each year. The most recent report is just out, and among U.S. airlines, there’s some really good for Hawaiian and Alaska, along with some pretty darn good news for United Airlines and Delta (tops among the Big Four airlines).
Then, there’s some mediocre news for American and Southwest–and if for some reason you’re a big fan of JetBlue (or an employee or shareholder), you might just want to skip the rest of this article.
Here’s the breakdown of U.S. airlines on the list. OAG gives out star ratings based on performance, and the data here covers the period from June 2017 to May 2018. Otherwise, the 137 airlines on the list are ranked quantitatively, by on time performance.
The only U.S. airline to crack that barrier and get five stars: Hawaiian, with an 87.4 percent on-time percentage, good enough for #11 overall worldwide.
Alaska Airlines (#20, 84.1 percent on-time), Delta Air Lines (24th, 83.8 percent on-time), and United Airlines (#41, 80.7 percent on-time) did well enough to get four stars from OAG. This is a big improvement for United over its prior performance on the list.
Spirit Airlines came in #48 on the list with an 80.2 percent on-time percentage. American Airlines was #51 with a 79.4 percent on-time percentage, and Southwest came in at #58, with a 78.0 percent on-time percentage. This is especially tough for American, given its reported extreme focus on on-time departures (the so-called D0 standard).
Frontier (#61), Sun Country (#64), and Allegiant (#70), and Cape Air (#85) were also three-star rated, with on-time percentages between 77.8 percent and 74.7 percent.
Silver Airways, which mostly flies turboprops in and around Florida, came in 99th with a 71.9 percent on-time percentage, and JetBlue was the lowest ranked U.S. airline on the list: #102, with a 70.5 percent on-time percentage. (But they were really nice to my daughter.)
The top three ranked world airlines according to OAG’s on-time report were all from the North East Asia region, by the way: T’way Air out of South Korea, Hong Kong Airlines, and Fuji Dream Airlines.
Bringing up the rear: Sunwing Airlines Inc. out of Canada, AVIOR from Venuzuela, and Air Inuit, also from Canada.
It’s worth noting the extreme effects that things that are out of the airlines’ control can have on on-time performance.
For example, you’d have to guess that flying in cold Canadian winters would mean the weather would affect Sunwing and Inuit. Meanwhile, the political and economic situation in Venuueala, you’d assume, takes a toll on AVIOR’s performance.
The full list of rankings can be found here. OAG also rated airports by on-time performance. The top airport was Nagoya Komaki Airport in Japan, but number two was an American airport: Hilo, in Hawaii.