The Nation’s Most Frequently Delayed Flights

Good news for frequent flyers: The federal government is trying to help you avoid flight delays. The Department of Transportation recently issued a report listing the nation’s eight most-frequently delayed flights. Not surprising (to me anyway) all involved a New York City airport and half involved a flight operated by or affiliated with Continental.

If you are planning to fly in the near future and don’t want to deal with the hassle of being delayed take note-—according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the following were the most delayed flights in the nation during the last couple months of 2007:

Continental affiliate ExpressJet Flight 2979 from Hartford, Connecticut to Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey arrived on time just 11.54% of the time. The second most delayed flight in the nation was Continental Flight 1532 from Houston Bush to New York LaGuardia. It was on time just 12.5% of the time. Next was Continental affiliate ExpressJet Flight 2076 from Newark Liberty to Indianapolis. It was only on time 14.81% of the time. United affiliate Mesa Flight 7462 from Washington Dulles to New York LaGuardia was just as bad. Next on the list was American Flight 350 from Chicago O’Hare to New York LaGuardia. It arrived on time just 16.67% of the time. American Flight 1497 from Newark Liberty to Chicago O’Hare and Continental affiliate ExpressJet Flight 2717 from Newark Liberty to St. Louis both had similar on time arrivals.

Now that you know all eight of the nation’s most-frequently delayed flights involved a New York City-area airport then you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that of the nation’s 32 largest airports, New York LaGuardia ranked last for on-time arrivals (only 53.5% of flights arrived on time). Newark Liberty was second worst with a 60.9% on-time rating. And New York’s JFK ranked 29th of the 32 biggest airports with a 73.4% on-time rating. Of course, if you flew home to New York for Thanksgiving then you probably already knew that.

On the flip side if you were flying into Salt Lake City you probably had no problem getting home on time. Salt Lake City led all airports with an 88.5% on-time rating. It was followed by Tampa (86.2%), Orlando (85.6%) and Chicago Midway (85.3%). According to the report, those were the only airports in the nation that had more than 85% of their flights arrive on time during the busy holiday period.

Did you fly to any of the aforementioned cities for the holidays? Would you say the report’s findings were accurate?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.