This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Passengers who book a flight with Spirit Airlines might not get the most legroom or free refreshments, but they are pretty much guaranteed to arrive on time, according to new data.

The Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report named Spirit Airlines the No. 1 airline for on-time arrivals for the month of October in the US. This is the first time the budget airline has achieved this milestone.

For the month of October, 89% of Spirit’s flight arrived on-time at the 361 airports surveyed by DOT. Following closely behind was Hawaiian Airlines, with 88.5% of flights arriving on-time and Delta, with 87.1%.

According to a different survey by FlightStats, Spirit took the title again in November, with 82.7% of its flights arriving on-time (with the weighted monthly average dropping about 3 percentage points last month), and the airliner hopes to continue this trend.

“We have looked at every aspect of our operation to improve our reliability and this ranking only highlights those changes,” Spirit said in a statement to TPG. “From adjusting our schedule, aircraft utilization, and crew scheduling, it has been a complete overhaul. This is part of our continued effort to invest in the Guest experience, all while providing the best value in the sky. We are happy with the operational numbers we continue to see, and we feel like we are on the right course.”

This upward trend is a far cry from Spirit’s ranking in 2016, the year in which the ultra-low-cost carrier held the bottom spot for on-time arrivals 11 months in a row — going from a reputation for tardiness to overtaking the rankings entirely.

Generally speaking, ultra-low-cost carriers have good incentive to be timely. After all, saving time is akin to saving money for ULCCs, which turn around their planes at lighting speed in between their jam-packed flight schedules to maximize profits. Plus, new Spirit CEO Bob Fornaro is further incentivizing on-time arrivals with executive and manager bonuses.

Featured image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.