A couple of summers ago I had a 3 hour delay flying from Key West to New York. I was frustrated by everything except the fact that there was free wifi at the airport. So I decided to download the data on every takeoff and landing for all major airline carriers for 2010 and most of 2011 and see which airlines/routes are the worst so that I could avoid this issue in the future. I was only looking at takeoff delays, because that’s what was on my mind while I was drinking terrible coffee in the airport while my friends and family were out golfing and riding jet skis.

The graphs show the average delay time on each route (red is longer). Some other interesting facts:

  • Southwest has the highest delayed flight percentage (60%) when you include very short delays (5-10 minutes), which will probably have no effect on arrival time.
  • Southwest also has the lowest percentage of flights that are delayed for 40+ minutes (8% for >= 40min, 4% for >= 60min)
  • JetBlue and Pinnacle (some regional airline that I had never heard of?) have the highest percentage of 40+ minute delays (both around 15% for >=  40min and 10% for >= 60min).

This is just something I did on the airplane on the way home, but it would be fun to build this out as an actual web service (any volunteers for help?).

Oh and they also lost my luggage on that flight as well.