Airlines with the Worst Delays

If you are on one of these flights, you can probably count on it being late.

For instance, if you are flying on US Airways from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Honolulu, Hawaii—the most frequently delayed flight last year—be sure to bring a book. US Airways flight 807 was late 100% of the time in 2009, according to a study by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The other flights rounding out the top five most delayed flights in 2009 were:

2. AirTran Airways flight 608 from Milwaukee to Baltimore/Washington International Airport (late 93.33% of the time)
2. ExpressJet Airlines flight 2412 from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Newark, New Jersey (late 93.33% of the time)
4. Frontier Airlines flight 752 from Los Angeles to Milwaukee (late 90.32% of the time)
5. Comair flight 6700 from New York JFK to Houston George Bush (late 87.50% of the time)
5. Hawaiian Airlines flight 5 from Las Vegas to Honolulu (late 87.50% of the time).

The top three airlines with the best on-time arrival rates were: Hawaiian Airlines (87%), Alaska Airlines (84%), and United Airlines (77.3%).

The worst three were: American Eagle Airlines (64.5%), Comair (65.9%), and AirTran Airways (66.4%).

Overall, the nation’s largest airlines did better this year than last year. The 19 carriers analyzed in the study had an on-time performance rate in 2009 of 79.5%, which was slightly higher than 2008’s 76% and the best since the 82% on-time rate in 2003.

In addition, the rate of mishandled baggage was at the lowest recorded since 2004. Last year the carriers mishandled about 3.91 of every 1,000 passengers, an improvement over 2008’s 5.26. However, that still doesn’t bring airlines back to the 2002 level of 3.84.