top of page
  • Writer's pictureMui R

Navigating Flights


Alright, so, you know how important it is for flights to be on time, right? I mean, it's key for a hassle-free travel experience and not miss your cruise. The DOT in the U.S. is like the flight police, making sure everyone's keeping their schedules in check.


Based on the ranking for top 10 airports, here are the last two years' statistics to route you to the best domestic airport according to the US Department of Transportation.

Rank

2021

On Time %

Rank

2022

On Time %

1

Atlanta (ATL)

87.98

1

Salt Lake City (SLC)

84.32

2

Minneapolis (MSP)

87.52

2

Atlanta (ATL)

82.38

3

Charlotte (CLT)

86.42

3

Minneapolis (MSP)

81.94

4

Detroit (DTW)

86.40

4

Detroit (DTW)

81.79

5

Salt Lake City (SLC)

85.71

5

San Francisco (SFO)

81.20

6

Seattle (SEA)

84.09

6

Houston (IAH)

81.11

7

New York (LGA)

83.84

7

Seattle (SEA)

80.41

8

Washington (DCA)

83.40

8

Charlotte (CLT)

80.25

9

San Francisco (SFO)

83.20

9

Los Angeles (LAX)

79.84

10

Philadelphia (PHL)

82.64

10

Washington (IAD)

79.49

But here's the scoop: overall, the on-time record has slipped by 3%. To keep things smooth for your trip, let's dive into some practical tips.

  • Legal connection times are 30 minutes for domestic and 55 for international, but that doesn't mean you won't risk missing your flight. To dodge that stress, give yourself some buffer – like 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international ones. Better safe than scrambling!

  • Choose your seats wisely. The closer you are to the front of the plane, the faster you will get off.

  • Take a carry-on luggage versus checking your luggage if possible.

  • Knowing your airport layout gives you a clear idea of how fast you need to get from one gate to another.

  • Download the airline's app for updated information - changes of gate, times, and flight numbers.

  • Check the details of your flight before you book. What is the percentage of on-time, late, and cancellation?

Here is a sample flight detail from San Diego to Dallas on American Airlines. It shows the performance of flight: 93% on time, 7% late, and 4% canceled. DOT considers flights late after 15 minutes. If you are at the back of the plane, you are already 25 minutes late getting to your connection. If you have a 30-minute connection, you are late even before you step off the plane.


Being on time is not the only criterion for choosing a particular flight. It could be customer service which can make the difference between a happy flyer versus an irate flyer. How well do airlines handle problems are always on our mind. Weather, health emergencies, and mechanical delays are sometimes out of the airline's control but how each airline representative handles the situation varies from airline to airline. According to Skytrax, here are the World's Best Airlines in North America for customer service. Do you agree?

  1. Delta Airlines

  2. Air Canada

  3. United Airlines

  4. Alaska Airlines

  5. Jet Blue Airways

  6. Sun Country Airlines

  7. Southwest Airlines

  8. Air Transat

  9. WestJet

  10. American Airlines

Delta making the top spot does not surprise me which aligns with the on-time airport - Atlanta, Georgia, and Salt Lake City, which are the main hubs of Delta Airlines. Delta in the past year has the least amount of flight changes/interruptions and that is a plus for cruisers! On top of this, here are some other great reasons to fly with Delta.

  • Choose your seats before you fly more than 24-hours in advance.

  • Enjoy more peace of mind with no change fees when you purchase a Main Cabin or above ticket on flights originating from the U.S. and Canada.

  • Providing you even more flexibility to travel when you’re ready, we (Delta) are extending all tickets expiring in 2022, and all new tickets purchased in 2022, so they will be able to be rebooked through December 31, 2023 for travel now through 2024.

  • Delta One® offers spacious lie-flat seats, complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and use of Sky Priority services - perfect for long flights.

  • Coming Soon: SkyMiles Status Tracker

  • www.delta.com for more details.

Besides Delta, what other airlines do a good job with services and on-time flights? From experience, Alaska Airlines, United, and Air Canada are pretty good as well. Air Canada doesn't allow seat assignments which is difficult for international flights.


If you book your flight with the cruise line, they manage the interruptions and changes for you, so you don't have to worry about it. This is a plus when booking flights with the cruise line - one less thing to worry about.


The best time to book flights for schedule and pricing has been 12-11 months for business class and premium economy flights. You can wait between 9-7 months for economy class. Flying mid-week is typically cheaper than on weekends.




1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page