Frequent Fliers Beware: Most Chronically Delayed Flights

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics defines chronically delayed flights as having “more than 50% delayed arrivals of more than 30 minutes” - and frequent fliers can certainly attest that delays will often occur at the most convenient time to fly, namely rush hour.

However, scheduling meetings that end in the early afternoon or planning to fly in late to your afternoon meetings so you can beat the crowds isn’t always the best strategy.

Read on to see the most chronically delayed flights on top domestic routes in 2011.

The Surprise: United 436, Chicago O’Hare to Newark. Scheduled to depart at 3 PM, who would suspect this flight would be on the chronically delayed list for three separate months, making it the worst offender of 2011?

The rest of the flights listed below are tied for number of offenses, each showing up two times on separate months in 2011.

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The Usual Suspects: What a way to kick off rush hour! Better find a charging station and get some work done while you wait.

  1. American 3740, Chicago O’Hare to Newark. Scheduled departure 4:55 PM.
  2. United 690, Chicago O’Hare to LaGuardia. Scheduled departure 5:05 PM.
  3. United 502, Chicago O’Hare to LaGuardia. Scheduled departure 6:00 PM.
  4. Jet Blue 918, Chicago O’Hare to JFK. Scheduled departure 6:35 PM.

The Early Bird Doesn’t Always Get the Worm: Decided to skip the morning rush hour or end meetings really early? Bad idea - you’ll end up spending extra time at the airport instead of your destination.

  1. SkyWest 4720, Los Angeles to San Francisco, Scheduled departure 12:30 PM.
  2. United 646, Chicago O’Hare to LaGuardia. Scheduled departure 1 PM.

Time for a Movie, Too?: Grabbed dinner after your meetings? Good news - you also have time for drinks.

  1. United 696, Chicago O’Hare to LaGuardia. Scheduled departure 7:00 PM.
  2. American 4671, Atlanta to LaGuardia. Scheduled departure 7:50 PM.

The take-away? Book wisely by avoiding rush hour if you can, and keep this list handy if you’re traveling to these cities. Keep in mind that it’s not always the airline’s fault your flight is delayed - they could be dealing with a backup of planes waiting to take off, bad weather in another city, or a myriad of other things that can disrupt their service and your travel plans.