Results for on-time arrival during the holiday season (Thanksgiving & Christmas – New Year’s) are actually quite different than on-time arrival results for the full year, impacted by things such as winter storms, increased airport congestion, and improper holiday staffing. Forbes recently engaged FlightAware to compile arrival delays for 18 major and regional U.S. airlines over the holiday travel periods, as defined by the Transportation Department, from 2010 through 2012. Here are those results:
The Best On-Time Holiday Rankings
The Worst On-Time Holiday Rankings
5) American Eagle
4) American Airlines
2) Express Jet
Note that Comair actually had the worst results for the holiday season, however Delta ceased operations of the regional carrier in 2012 and they therefore were not included in the survey.
“With 75 percent of our flights touching the Northeast, either New York or Boston, one delay in the morning can affect the entire line of flying for that airplane,” said Jenny Dervin, a JetBlue spokeswoman. And, the Northeast is particularly affected by the kind of winter storms that delay flights.