Only Hawaii and West Coast Airports Represent US in OAG’s On-Time Top Tier

Oct 20, 2017

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When it comes to flying, one of the biggest influencing factors on the overall experience is if your flight was on time. If you’re planning a tight connection, for example, you’ll want to avoid Newark International Airport (EWR), as it’s notorious for traffic delays on the tarmac. And if you think EWR is bad, OAG’s latest report for on-time performance is out, and many of America’s airports fall well behind their international counterparts.

According to the organization’s latest on-time performance (OTP) report, only five of the 49 airports around the world with OAG five-star ratings are in the US. The five US airports, as you’ll see, are almost entirely from non-continental locales:

  • #3: Hilo, Hawaii (ITO) — 91.3 annual OTP
  • #9 (tie): Lihue, Hawaii (LIH) — 89.5 annual OTP
  • #24 (3-way tie): Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) — 87.3 annual OTP
  • #36 (tie): Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) — 86.4 annual OTP
  • #47 (4-way tie): Salt Lake City (SLC) — 85.2 annual OTP

Domestic US airports had such a bad showing in this year’s performance ratings that two US airports even landed one-star ratings: the aforementioned Newark (68.7 annual OTP) and Nantucket (ACK; 66.9 annual OTP). In between the best and the worst fell the US’ other largest airports. Notably, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), the world’s busiest, received a 4-star rating with an 82.9 annual OTP rating.

The country with the most airports with five-star ratings might surprise you, given its relatively small size and dense population: Japan. It had a total of nine airports receiving five-star ratings. One of those nine happened to be one the capital city’s airports: Tokyo Haneda (HND). Not far behind Japan, Brazil had the second-most airports with five-star ratings with a total of eight airports, including Vitoria (VIT).

At the bottom for on-time performance, China, India and the Philippines each had eight airports with one-star ratings.

OAG’s twice-annual on-time performance report analyzes data for both airlines and airports to establish who’s the best and who’s the worst when it comes to getting passengers where they need to go on time. The organization measures on-time performance for airports as departures and arrivals that take place strictly less than 15 minutes after the scheduled departure or arrival time. OAG bases its rankings on 12 months’ rolling performance data. In order to be considered for OAG’s report, an airport must have a minimum of 2.5 million departed seats in the year, with an minimum of 600 operations per month.

Just because your home airport ranked well — or ranked horribly — on OAG’s recent list doesn’t mean your flight is guaranteed to be delayed. But the next time you’re sitting on the tarmac and waiting to take off from EWR, know that it’s not totally out of the norm.

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