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A flight is considered "on time" if it leaves less than 15 minutes after the time it is scheduled to take off from the tarmac, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
U.S. airlines with the lowest rates of on-time arrivals between December and January of 2019 include:
- Frontier (73.1 percent)
- JetBlue (73.5 percent)
- United (75.2 percent)
- American (77.4 percent)
- Allegiant (78.7 percent)
- Spirit (79.5 percent)
- Southwest (80.2 percent)
- Alaska (81.3 percent)
- Delta (84 percent)
While JetBlue ranked second among major airlines for the least on-time flights, the airline reported results from only 62 airports, while Frontier reported from 92. American, United and Delta each reported flight times from more than 200 airports, according to the report.
Consumer Reports ranked Frontier the second "worst airline in America" after Spirit in a 2018 report based on flights that took place between 2016 and 2017. The airline received a score of 63 points out of 100 after Spirit, which got 62 points.
Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue, by comparison, all ranked within the top-three best airlines in the U.S., according to the Consumer Reports study.
Delta is the second-biggest airline in the world and in the U.S., falling just behind American Airlines. United, Southwest and Alaska also made the top-20 list of the world's largest airlines, Business Insider reported in March, citing research from air-travel data firm OAG.
Hawaiian Airlines Network had the best overall on-time performance at 87.6 percent, but the smaller airline and its partners fly out of 22 airports compared to the 223 airports where passengers can catch flights with Delta and its partners.