2009′s Top-10 on-time U.S. airlines

by Charlie Leocha on February 25, 2010


Forbes has released their edited version of the U.S.A.’s top on-time airlines. These airlines are based on the same data released by DOT every month, but Forbes has limited the airlines they include to those that depart from at least 20 of the nation’s top 31 airports.

Airlines like Hawaiian and Alaska Air, perennial on-time champs are not included in this list because they don’t affect that many travelers. Other airlines that you may not recognize, that are on this list are airlines like SkyWest adn ExpressJet. That’s because they normally fly under the moniker of a larger airline with a code-share agreement.

Travelers may think when they clamber aboard a Continental Express, or United Express, or Delta Express, or American Connection flight that you are getting aboard a subsidiary of a major airline. They are not. These airlines are regional airlines that fly under fake colors of mainline carriers; all with the approval of the DOT.

USAirways and United Airlines, once in the toilet based on customer service rankings, have surged to the top-5 when it comes to on-time. This was done with a strong focus within the company to make on-time departures a priority. The biggest surprise in this list is the absence of American Airlines. It is no where to be seen in the Top 10.

Without further ado, here is Forbes’ listing of the Top 10 On-Time U.S. Airlines for 2009

1. Southwest
2. SkyWest
3. United
4. US Airways
5. Northwest (now part of Delta)
6. Continental
7. ExpressJet
8. Delta
9. Frontier
10. JetBlue

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  • victor spears

    Forbes is simplistic in having their own justifications for leaving Hawaiian Air off the list. What’s the use of having a top 10 list if you are going to make up your own rules and conditions? How about I rate your magazine with others, but insert my own set of handicaps?
    Granted, we do have somewhat of an advantage being in Hawaii. If you want to be fair, then why don’t you make a comparison of only long range flights of more than 2000 miles, and take all flights under 500 miles out of the equation? Then see how we compare!
    I guarantee the mainland airports we operate out of are in the top 20: LAX,SAN,SFO,SJC,OAK,SMF,LAS,PDX,SEA,PHX. I suppose we only operate out of these airports when there is no weather or ATC delays!
    Our employees work hard at keeping our #1 on-time position, and I resent Forbes skewed logic in depriving us the respect we deserve!
    The integrity of your magazine just took a slight nose dive!

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