Frontier Posts Worst Airline On-Time Performance

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Flying on an ultra-low-cost airline has its price. And that price is often paid in fees for minor amenities or in flight delays. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released its report on November 2015 consumer air travel on Friday, and the two worst airlines for on-time arrivals were both ultra-low-cost carriers.

Frontier Airlines, privately held by private equity firm Indigo Partners, posted the worst on-time performance among U.S. carriers, arriving on-time just 74% of the time. Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVE) was second-worst with an on-time arrival record of 75.3%, and ExpressJet ranked third-worst with a record of 80.8% on-time arrivals.

The airline with the best record for on-time arrivals was Hawaiian Holdings Co.’s (NASDAQ: HA) Hawaiian Airlines with 93.9% of flights arriving on-time. Delta Air Lines Co. (NYSE: DAL) was next with 89.5% on-time arrivals and Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) third at 85.5%.

According to the BTS, 16.3% of all domestic flights arrived late in November. The largest percentage of late arrivals, 5.2%, were due to late-arriving aircraft, 4.8% were due to aviation system delays and 4.6% were due to factors within the airlines’ control.

Among other statistics reported for November, the mishandled baggage rate came to 2.58 reports per 1,000 passengers, down from 2.87 reports in November 2014 and up month-over-month from 2.49.

Another interesting data point: evening and late night arrivals are more often delayed, with flights scheduled to arrive between 10 and 11 p.m. managing to make their arrival time just 77.6% of the time.

The airport with the worst on-time arrival record was Aspen, Colo., where just 61.8% of flights arrived as scheduled. No surprise there, given the weather in Aspen in November.