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Denver’s most on-time and delayed airlines in 2013

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At MileCards.com we think few things can ruin a good vacation more than a delayed flight.

Specifically for Denver International Airport (DEN), MileCards.com compiled and analyzed raw data released this week by the Department of Transportation detailing the on-time performance of airlines during all of 2013. The DOT defines an on-time flight as one that arrives or departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

For Denver in 2013…

Alaska led on-time performance

While it is one of the smaller carriers at Denver its on-time performance was by significantly ahead of other airlines at 91% of flights on-time. The average Alaska Airlines flight, counting both those that ran ahead and behind schedule, operated one minute earlier than scheduled in 2013.

American Eagle and JetBlue at the bottom

The worst performers were American Eagle and JetBlue. American Eagle had just a 63% on time rate in 2013, much worse than its already sub par national average of 73%. If you were on an American Eagle flight in 2013, your flight ran about 22 minutes late on average. JetBlue fared nearly as poorly. Just 65% of its flights operated within 15 minutes of their scheduled times with an average flight running 17 minutes late.

Southwest had a tough year, but size wasn’t the reason

Just 69% of Southwest’s flights to and from Denver were on time last year, well below its 75% average for all airports. Frontier fared better, with 74% of flights on time. And United, the only other airline with operations similar in scale at Denver, operated 80% of its flights on time.

Denver International underperforms national averages

Denver’s on-time performance was below the national average in 2013, with 75% of flights on time versus a national average of 79%. With one of Denver’s largest airlines, Southwest, performing well below its national average in Denver, strong performance by other airlines was offset.

“Denver had a mixed year for on-time flights,” said Brian Karimzad, director of MileCards.com. “Southwest’s performance was well below competitors and its own national average, but major airlines like Delta, United, and US Airways delivered on-time rates of 80% and above, leading us to believe factors specific to Southwest rather than Denver drove its performance.”

Summary Statistics – Denver International Airport Departing and Arriving Flights

% On Time% On Time (National Average)Minutes LateTotal Flights
Alaska91%89%-13110
US Airways82%84%59614
Delta82%85%614402
United80%79%887798
Endeavor Air Inc.78%81%6644
SkyWest77%81%999104
AirTran76%80%91706
American76%78%119773
Frontier74%75%1370972
ExpressJet70%73%1635201
Southwest69%75%13114013
JetBlue65%76%172050
American Eagle63%73%224701
All Airlines75%79%11453088

Source: Department of Transportation, January-December 2013

% On Time: % of flights arriving or departing airport within 15 minutes of schedule

% On Time (National Average):  % of all flights operating in the U.S. arriving or departing  within 15 minutes of schedule

Average Minutes Late: Average minutes behind schedule for all flights during the year – both those considered on-time (within 15 minutes of schedule) and those considered late (more than 15 minutes behind schedule.)

Total Flights: Total flights to and from airport operated by the airline.

About MileCards.com

MileCards.com lets consumers compare travel credit cards based on where they want to fly. It believes air travel should be more transparent and less confusing. It regularly uses data to better inform travelers.

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