These Are the Most On-Time Airlines in the United States

Hawaiian Airlines and Delta were the only U.S. carriers to make the top 20 in OAG’s Punctuality League 2020 report.

These Are the Most On-Time Airlines in the United States

Hawaiian Airlines is the most on-time U.S. airline.

Photo by MikeRMoore / Shutterstock

When you book a flight, you probably consider things like which airline offers the best fares, the largest amount of legroom, and the biggest seats in economy. But above all else, whether or not an airline can get you to your destination on time probably matters the most to you.

OAG, a leading provider of air travel data, recently released its annual Punctuality League 2020 report. Of the most on-time airlines in the world, only two U.S. carriers—Hawaiian Airlines and Delta—earned a spot in the top 20 globally.

The national airline of Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia, took the top spot overall with its flights arriving on time 95.01 percent of the time in 2019, while Panama’s Copa Airlines and Japan’s low-cost Skymark Airlines came in second and third, respectively. (Hawaiian ranked 4th overall and Delta came in 14th.) Even though Qatar Airways was recently named the world’s best airline of 2019 by Skytrax, the data shows that its flights were only on time 80.32 percent of the time in 2019.

Using 57.7 million flight records from 2019, OAG ranked the largest 250 airlines in the world based on their on-time performance. According to its parameters, on-time performance was defined as flights that land within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival times.

Cirium, another air travel data and analytics company, released a similar report in early January 2020 that put Delta at the top for U.S. airlines. While both reports use annual Available Seat Kilometers (the number of seats available multiplied by the number of kilometers flown) to determine which airlines to consider, Cirium only pulled data from the top 15 percent in North America, which eliminated Hawaiian from its rankings.

Here’s how each of the nine major U.S.-based carriers scored in OAG’s most recent report:

  1. Hawaiian Airlines: (87.4%)
  2. Delta Airlines: (83.56%)
  3. Alaska Airlines: (81.49%)
  4. Spirit Airlines: (79.42%)
  5. Southwest Airlines: (79.4%)
  6. Allegiant Air: (78.97%)
  7. American Airlines: (77.9%)
  8. United Airlines: (76.28%)
  9. JetBlue Airways: (73.81%)

When you count in other North American airlines, Canada’s Westjet would’ve come in 7th in this ranking with an on-time performance of 78.98 percent in 2019. While JetBlue came in last place in these rankings for U.S. airlines, it did improve its on-time performance in 2019.

See the full list of ratings at

This article originally appeared online on July 1, 2019; it was updated on January 7, 2020, to include current information.

>> Next: How Early Should You Actually Get to the Airport?

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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