Delta Is The Most On-Time US Airline Again * Point Me to the Plane


Time is money is an age old saying. Once again in May, Delta delivered the best on-time performance-and they have done that consistently, month after month. By that logic, Delta saves us the most time out of all U.S. airlines and thereby, saves us the most money.

On-Time Performance For May

The latest on-time performance ratings are in, and Delta beat the pants off of its competitors in the domestic market. It led Alaska Airlines by almost 3.5 percentage points. At the same time, the other two majors, United and American, had on-time performances of 77.52% and 74.75% respectively. Frontier claimed last place with a dismal 68.25% of flights on time.

Overall, Delta Does A Lot Of Things Right…

Beyond dependability, Delta usually offers consistent service and has committed to improving its fleet. (It once was the oldest of the major carriers.) Delta has committed to the Bombardier Airbus C-Series aircraft which got rave reviews from Point Me Editor Chris. Incidentally, the A220 series is now headed west with a lot of new routes announced.

Delta also has no Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in their fleet. That aircraft has caused a domino effect of cancellations this year following the two crashes involving that aircraft. It was subsequently grounded by the FAA.

And Delta SkyClubs And In-flight Dining Are Solid

Delta’s Seattle SkyClub (Image: Miles Jackson)

Delta also has some impressive Sky Clubs, including its lounges at hubs in JFK, Atlanta and Seattle. It’s not quite at the level of United Polaris or American Flagship lounges – but they’re fantastic for membership-based spaces. We expect to see another impressive Sky Club at LAX in 2021.

I find Delta’s in-flight dining to be solid overall. Maybe it’s not the best, when compared to some of the world’s best airlines, but in my opinion, Delta’s catering is the best among US domestic carriers. On my most recent Delta First Class flight, I had a delicious steak dinner and had no complaints.

I also find that the front line employees at Delta really make a positive difference. Perhaps it’s because they are non-union and work for profit-sharing bonuses.

Delta Operational Stats

During the Memorial Day weekend, Delta flew more than 2.1 million passengers without a single mainline cancellation. That’s some impressive results and what makes savvy travelers remain loyal to the airline.

As a result of this on-time performance and other positive factors, Delta has held on to the No.1 position in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for a remarkable eight consecutive years.

Delta also recorded an on-time mainline performance of 86.7% this year and a load factor of 84.4%. That means its planes are flying at nearly 85% seat capacity. That is an impressive number for investors, while maybe a bit disheartening for passengers.

Of course, flying near capacity means the airline can typically hold firm to higher fares. Perhaps that’s why Warren Buffet (the Oracle of Omaha) made a ‘mistake’ and bought more than 10% of Delta?

That also might explain why an 8-year old went for Diamond Medallion status on Delta, flying a mega mileage run!

Get Lots of SkyMiles With These Offers

Delta and American Express have launched a new set of welcome (sign-up) bonus offers with their co-branded credit cards. All of these offers are for a limited time available through July 2, 2019. Furthermore, these are the best ever Delta/AmEx credit cards SkyMiles offers ever seen for the Platinum and Reserve business cards, making this a great opportunity to apply.

In addition, use of these credit cards can help you get a spend waiver with Delta for their MQD spend requirement for Medallion status.

Here is the rundown of the new offers on the Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cards:

Read more about these offers and compare the cards here.

Regardless of the reasons, and I have pointed out a few, Delta leads in on-time performance and that is one of the top criteria for business travelers.

All of these factors bolster my argument choosing Delta as your choice for a US domestic carrier is a great choice. Well, that is if getting there on time is important. That’s my opinion, backed by some facts.

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