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This Airline Is the Fastest in the Skies

Virgin America gets flyers to their destination the fastest, according to big data report.

When it comes to getting to a destination quickly, seven American airlines typically deliver flyers to their airports on or ahead of time – but Virgin America is the fastest among them. According to statistics compiled by big data firm FiveThirtyEight, Virgin America delivered passengers to their destination airport seven minutes ahead of their scheduled arrival on average during the 12-month period between October 2014 and September 2015.

The group compiled data provided by the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which publishes a monthly report on airline performance. From there, methodology focused around airports which have at least one scheduled route every two days and airlines that flew at least five routes from the airport.

Joining Virgin America as the quickest airline from gate to gate was Alaska Airlines, shaving an average of six minutes off every flight during last year. Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines were also credited for delivering passengers either on-time or faster in the last 12 months.

At the bottom of the table were legacy carriers American Airlines and United Airlines, delivering passengers to their destination an average of at least three minutes past the scheduled arrival. Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines came at the bottom of the group, arriving an average arrival of nine minutes behind schedule.

The data also suggested that airport choice may contribute to delay time as well. In New York, flyers who departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) can expect nearly 30 minutes to be added to their departure time, while those flying from nearby Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) only had an average departure delay of 19 minutes.

[Photo: Getty]

Comments are Closed.
lebowski2222 March 16, 2016

Its probably the most fuel efficient because its possible they might fly the fewest passengers and tend to have more empty planes.

hearna November 30, 2015

Just like the article on which airline is most fuel efficient... airlines operating high density 77W's are going to be more "fuel efficient" per passenger seat versus how much the A/C are burning (Older 67's and 57's burn more fuel making the crossing then an 87)

AAJetMan November 29, 2015

@MaxVO...Thank you. That's what I figured.

MaxVO November 26, 2015

Another click-bait article with a false title. To be clear, the false title was provided by the authors of the "study", not flyertalk. Still the "study" in question did not consider the speed of travel, only schedule padding.

AAJetMan November 26, 2015

Does this analysis actually assess the flight duration, or just the deviation from the published times? For example, if AA lists DFW-LAX as 2:56 and Spirit lists it as 3:02, if AA is 2 minutes late and Spirt 2 minutes early, AA acutally was "faster".