This Airline Was the Most Punctual U.S. Carrier in 2022, According to the DOT

Delta Air Lines had the highest on-time rate of any U.S. airline.

A row of airplanes lined up to take off at New York JFK airport

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Delta Air Lines was the most punctual carrier in the United States in 2022, a recent report revealed.

In total, Delta had an on-time rate of 82.1 percent, according to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR). (A flight that lands within 15 minutes of its schedule is considered to be on time.)

“The ATCR is designed to assist consumers with information on the quality of services provided by airlines,” the DOT wrote in a statement obtained by Travel + Leisure. “[The] DOT uses the data from the ATCR, consumer complaints, and other information it secures from the airlines to inform its enforcement activities and the adequacy of existing rules.”

Alaska Airlines had the second-highest on-time rate last year at 79.1 percent, followed by United Airlines at 78.7 percent, American Airlines at 77.1 percent, and Hawaiian Airlines at 75.8 percent.

Southwest Airlines, had an on-time rate of 73.2 percent in 2022. But it saw that rate drop to 60.7 percent during the month of December, when it infamously canceled thousands of flights over the holidays, leaving countless passengers stranded.

Still, Southwest didn’t have the lowest on-time rate in 2022. That belonged to both JetBlue, which came in second to last of all major U.S. carriers and was on time 64.6 percent of the time, and Allegiant Air, which came in last and was on time 63.4 percent of the time.

Last summer, the DOT created a website detailing policies on cancellations and delays, outlining what compensation they offer. For example, all 10 major U.S. airlines now “commit to providing meals upon request when a controllable cancellation or delay results in passengers waiting for three hours or more for a new flight,” according to the department.

Earlier this month, the DOT launched a second dashboard for family seating policies, which can vary widely by carrier. So far, only American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have committed to offering free family seating as part of their customer service plans.

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