Q. Sources of Airline On-Time Statistics

Answer

Sources of Airline On-Time Statistics

There are several ways to access statistics on on-time performance, delays, and cancellations.

Prepared Tables

You can find monthly press releases with U.S. air carrier on-time statistics here.

Monthly on-time statistics by carrier and airport (including mishandled-baggage statistics) are available in the Air Travel Consumer Report.

For airport arrival and departure performance rankings, click here.

Simple Searches

For on-time performance statistics, delay, and cancellation information by year and month, see "Flight Delays at a Glance".

Information on causes of delays is available here.

Detailed Statistics

To access the raw data in TranStats, click on "Aviation" under "By Mode" on the left side. This will give you a list of aviation databases. Select the fifth one, "Airline On-Time Performance Data."

If you want to look at one or two fields (such as on-time arrival percentage by carrier and destination airport), click on the On-Time Performance database link. Then click "Analysis" next to the field you are interested in (such as "OntimeArrivalPct"). You can click "Crosstabs" on the left to add another variable, such as "Dest" (using the "Filter Columns" menu) or click "Time Series" to see multiple years of data. We advise using "Unique Carrier" for your airline field. Click "Download Results" to see the data in an Excel file. You can use the "Search the Results" feature below the TranStats logo to narrow your search. Separate your search terms with commas. For example, if you want to compare the data for several airlines, you could use one of the following searches:

UA,DL,WN
United,Delta,Southwest

If you need to see more fields, such as origin, destination, and carrier, or want to search for the data on a particular flight, click on "Download" under the description of the database. Use the "Filter Geography" menu to narrow down your state of origin/destination and use the "Filter Year" and "Filter Period" menus to narrow down the time period. Next, click the boxes beside the fields you want to see. Remember to select performance/summary fields (e.g. DepDelay, Cancelled) along with any other fields you need, such as origin and carrier. Some fields, such as tail number and flight number, are only available through the "Download" function. You can only download one month at a time.

Bear in mind that there will be a separate row for each flight, so even if you filter by geography and month, the file you download may still be too large to open in Microsoft Excel. You will need to extract it to your computer and open it with a program such as Microsoft Access, SPSS or SAS.

If you would prefer to purchase the data rather than download and calculate it yourself (especially for complicated or time-consuming jobs) you may want to contact one of the commercial data services that provide BTS airline data to their customers.

Disclaimer: These private-sector sites and/or companies are not necessarily recommended, maintained, or endorsed by the US DOT or any US Government office. We offer these suggestions strictly as a convenience, should you be interested in exploring their services.

Reporting requirements can be found in 14 CFR 234.

More information on which carriers file on-time data and how it is done (including definitions) can be found in the most recent Technical Directive (bottom of the page).

For the BTS On-Time FAQ, click here.

More information about US air carrier statistics can be found by searching on "Air Carrier" in the FAQ knowledgebase.

  • Last Updated Sep 21, 2016
  • Views 13
  • Answered By David Martin

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