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Spirit Airlines

Want to Make Sure You Land On Time? Fly A Budget Airline (Apparently)

Want to Make Sure You Land On Time? Fly A Budget Airline (Apparently)
Jeff Edwards

In October, Spirit Airlines bested Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines to capture the U.S. DOT title for best on-time performance. The budget carrier, which had a reputation for perennially ranking among the worst on-time performers, has made progress in recent months cracking the number two position in March, but this is the first time Spirit claimed the number one ranking.

Spirit Airlines was named the airline with the best on-time performance in the most recent U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) “Air Travel Consumer Report.” The budget airline’s 89.0 percent on-time rating in October was enough for Spirit to best repeat winners Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Those traditionally well performing on-time carriers fared slightly better when their regional affiliate airlines such as Horizon Air, Sky West and Empire Airlines were filtered out of the results.

In March, Spirit was named the second best on-time performer in the DOT report. This is the first time, however, that the carrier was named number one in on-time performance in the monthly DOT rankings.

“As a result of our continued efforts to Invest In Our Guests, we have been ranked #1 in on-time performance by the Department of Transportation,” the airline said in a victory post of sorts on Twitter. “October was our best month yet, and we are excited to see what 2019 holds!”

It wasn’t long ago that the ultra-low-cost-carrier would have been considered something of a dark horse when it comes to receiving any sort of recognition for operational efficiency. Changes in upper management and recent capital investments are helping to reform the no-frill airline’s reputation, but even recently, the Spirit Airlines experience has been the butt of jokes and a seemingly unending source of passenger angst.

Hawaiian Airlines is still the number one ranked on-time airline for the year so far with number two Alaska Airlines and third ranked Delta Air lines following closely behind. Spirit is ranked fourth in on-time performance for the year-to-date. Low fare rivals Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines are ranked eighth and tenth respectively in on-time arrivals.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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