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Some airlines are better than others at preventing holiday travel stress.

October 20, 2016

Flight delays are always annoying, but even more so during the holidays.

RewardExpert released its annual Thanksgiving Holiday Air Travel Forecast on Thursday, highlighting which airlines are least likely to have delays.

The forecast used airline performance data from the Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2015, analyzing the on-time performance of 10 major U.S. airlines for the 10-day period around Thanksgiving. Hawaiian Airlines scored highest, which is not a surprise since the carrier regularly tops rankings due to a more limited number of routes and favorable weather conditions at its top destinations.

Whether you've already got your flights booked for the holiday or are still planning your trip, see which airlines you can expect on-time departures and arrivals from:

  1. Hawaiian Airlines — 94.4 percent
  2. Delta Air Lines — 88.8 percent
  3. Alaska Airlines — 86.3 percent
  4. Virgin America — 85.7 percent
  5. United Airlines — 83.3 percent
  6. American Airlines — 82.6 percent
  7. JetBlue Airways — 82.3 percent
  8. SkyWest Airlines — 80.5 percent
  9. Southwest Airlines — 79.4 percent
  10. Frontier Airlines — 78.7 percent

“Delays are an inevitability for airports and airlines during peak Thanksgiving travel times, however a little planning to avoid high-traffic dates can help travelers reduce their chances of getting stuck at the gate,” said Roman Shteyn, CEO and co-founder of RewardExpert.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is the worst day to travel, according to the forecast, and the Tuesday after is the worst day to return.

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