Some airlines have better on-time performance levels than others, and the same is true for airports.
Fortunately, if you want to ensure you’re using an airport with high on-time performance levels, new research from the Official Airline Guide (OAG), which provides data and insight about travel, can make your travel planning easier. That’s because its annual Punctuality League report explains which airlines and airports have the best records for on-time service.
While conducting its research, OAG collects data “from every journey, every booking, every takeoff and landing, departure, and delay,” it explains. The result is a tabulation of overall on-time performance, not just flight arrivals or departures.
Let’s jump right to it. Here are the top 10 most-punctual U.S. airports.
1. Charlotte Douglas International, North Carolina
Charlotte Douglas International notes that it averages 1,600 daily aircraft operations, serving more than 100,000 passengers every day, and more than 50 million passengers annually.
Based on its level of aircraft movement, the airport was the sixth busiest airport, according to the Airports Council International (ACI) World 2020 preliminary rankings.
In another accolade that cites performance, Charlotte Douglas International was named the “most-punctual” U.S. airport last year by OAG. Indeed, it posted an 89.3 percent on-time performance level, according to OAG’s research.
2. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Michigan
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which is 18 miles from downtown Detroit, is a hub for Delta and a focus city for Spirit Airlines. More than 1,100 flights fly into or out of the airport each day. What’s more, the airport explains that it offers nonstop passenger flights to 122 destinations in 12 countries.
It also was the second most-punctual airport in the U.S. last year. OAG’s research found that Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County had an 88.8 percent on-time performance level in 2021.
3. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, Georgia
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta has been the busiest in the world for more than 20 years. According to the ACI’s research, however, it was the second-busiest airport in the world last year, behind Guangzhou Bal Un International Airport in China.
Despite nearly 43 million passengers moving through the airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson is very punctual. Indeed, OAG’s research found that the airport had an 88.3 percent on-time performance level.
4. Myrtle Beach International, South Carolina
Airport officials recently announced that Myrtle Beach International Airport had a record-breaking year in 2021, serving 3.2 million passengers. Furthermore, that is a 188 percent increase in the number of total passengers passing through the airport in 2020.
Myrtle Beach International also maintained a high on-time performance level. OAG’s research found that on-time performance level was 88.2 percent.
5. Raleigh Durham International, North Carolina
Raleigh Durham International’s name comes from its location, which is 11 miles from Raleigh and 10.5 miles from Durham. The airport, which offers more than 600 daily arrivals and departures, served 8.8 million passengers last year. That number, by the way, is an 80 percent increase over 2020.
The airport also had an 88.1 percent on-time performance level, according to OAG’s research.
6. Lihue Airport, Kauai, Hawaii
Lihue Airport, which handles both overseas and interisland flights, is the primary airport on the island of Kauai.
There were 1,333 flights arriving at Lihue last month, which means 44 flights per day,
according to Flight Connections. Most of those flights were to Honolulu or Los Angeles.
OAG’s research determined that Lihue Airport had an 87.9 percent on-time performance level last year.
7. Philadelphia International, Pennsylvania
There were 243,906 takeoffs and landings at Philadelphia International last year. Just over 16.9 million passengers used the airport for domestic flights while 917,411 travelers passed through the airport for international flights.
OAG’s research determined that Philadelphia International posted an 87.5 percent on-time performance level in 2021.
8. Norfolk International, Virginia
Norfolk International could handle international flights, but currently, it only serves domestic flights. More than 3.3 million passengers passed through the airport in 2021, with most travelers either on their way to or from La Guardia and JFK in New York City or Atlanta.
According to OAG, Norfolk International had an 87.4 percent on-time performance level in 2021.
9. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International, Minnesota
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International isn’t actually in either Minneapolis or Saint Paul. It is, however, about 10 miles from both cities’ downtown areas. MSP, as it’s known, is a major hub for Delta Airlines and is the country’s 17th busiest travel hub – serving 34 million passengers each year.
OAG’s research found that Minneapolis-Saint Paul International had an 87.3 percent on-time performance level last year.
10. Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania
More than 135 nonstop flights depart every day from Pittsburgh International, which is about 10 miles west of downtown Pittsburgh. Last year, 3.6 million passengers passed through the airport, however in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport served 9.7 million passengers.
Pittsburgh International posted an 87.2 percent on-time performance level in 2021, according to OAG’s research.
While you’re thinking about making sure your flight will be on time, be sure to also read You’ll Face Fewer Delays If You Fly These 6 U.S. Airlines.
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