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I used to read FiveThirtyEight a long time ago, back when it was an independent site, then as a part of the New York Times.  Its name comes from the number of electoral votes in US presidential elections, and that was its first focus.  It’s been recently reborn as part of the ESPN network, and broadened its data-driven scope to also include matters of sports, economics, science and life.  Well worth a read if you haven’t been there.

I saw an interesting article there the other day – asking which departure times of the day generate more on-time flights.

To anyone who travels a lot, the answer is probably not a huge surprise – the early morning flights are the ones that are most likely to be on-time.  Flights that leave before 8am average less than a 10 minute delay at arrival.  The average delay time gradually increases to just over 20 minutes for flights that leave in the 6pm hour (like my awful flight from Reno to Chicago which culminated in a passenger telling my wife and I that we were the type of people that shouldn’t have children).  For flights later in the evening, the average delay reduces slightly (I guess I must have had an outlier a few months ago when my last flight of the day on Southwest was delayed… again)

The article is well worth a read – do you agree with its conclusions?  Or does this information change when you try to arrive at the airport?


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