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No one likes to be delayed when traveling, and in fact, I would guess it’s one of the top things people try to avoid at all costs when going on vacation. One thing you may want to consider the next time you book an international trip is the likelihood your flight may get delayed, which is something most people don’t often consider. Thanks to FlightStats (by way of Bloomberg), we have a list of airlines with low delay rates, as well as high delay rates. You may want to consult this list then next time you book that international flight!
NOTE: These statistics are compiled from hundreds of sources over the course of 2016. These numbers apply to flights operated in 2016.
5. Asiana Airlines, 37.5% of flights delayed
Asiana is a member of Star Alliance, with hubs at Incheon International Airport (ICN) and Gimpo International Airport (GMP; both serving Seoul, South Korea).
4. Philippine Airlines, 38.3% of flights delayed
Philippine Airlines is not part of a global airline alliance, but they codeshare with Hawaiian Airlines. Their hubs are at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila) and Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Cebu).
3. Air India, 38.7% of flights delayed
Air India is also a member of Star Alliance, with hubs in Delhi and Mumbai. They currently fly to four American cities: Chicago, New York, Newark, and San Francisco.
2. Icelandair, 41.0% of flights delayed
Icelandair does not belong to a global airline alliance, but they codeshare with Alaska Airlines and jetBlue. Their sole hub is located at Keflavik International Airport (KEF). If you’re ever in need of a fun fact (maybe while you’re delayed), all of Icelandair’s aircraft are named after volcanos.
1. El Al, 56.0% of flights delayed
Yep, you read that right! In 2016, 56% of El Al flights were delayed. That’s an insane amount of flights per day, and I am really curious as to what caused El Al to have the (dubious) honor of achieving first place. El Al is not part of an airline alliance, and their sole hub is located at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (TLV).
Definitely a poor showing by Star Alliance members – better luck next year! Of the two lists complied by FlightStats (the 10 least delayed airlines and the 10 most delayed airlines), only one American carrier appeared: Delta Air Lines. Thankfully, they made the least delayed list, coming between TAM and Singapore.
You won’t be able to escape delays, no matter what airline you fly, but it’s good to know which carriers to avoid (if you can) so that you arrive at your destination relaxed and on time!
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Having flown El Al, I have a guess: their extra security measures are incredible. Because it’s an airline that basically only travels to and from Israel, it has for many years used intense security protocols to prevent a terrorist attack. Every passenger is interviewed by the airline, and every single piece of luggage is searched. So yes, expect delays (and flight attendants who don’t care one whit about service or making passengers more comfortable) — but also expect that the airline will do everything in its power to keep you safe. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1001458258397595640
Partly agree with security over anything might contribute to ELAL delays. We travelled as an extended family and aftrer deplaning realized we forgot an important satchel in the overhead bins. We were refused any attempt to go back with the ridiculous statement that we would find it at the lost and found. IT WAS waiting at the lost and found pending scutiny of ID.
The REAL ISSUE is said to have been a contract dispute with pilots that had them changing routed flown to extend flight times. Their contract allowed for great bonus pay on flights over 12 hours.
It also should be noted that ELAL is an end of line airline, and many flights are 6 to 12 hours. This causes delays to cascade as they can not simply quickly fly in replacement equiment.