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Today I am on the ground after two weeks of flying, when I am adding it up, almost 30,000 miles with Delta and Skyteam. There is a TON to share, but one of the most interesting bits to me is that almost all of the flights were mostly on time (i.e. give or take 5-15 minutes). I did not miss-connect on ANY of my flights (yes, I had to run to make a few of them)!

screen shot of a 50 dollar delta airlines e-gift cert from delta points blog swag saturday

So as I work on my trip reports and a bunch of other fascinating discoveries from this latest round of MEGA Delta flying I want some input from you as a fellow Delta flyer for a shot at winning a $50 Delta e-Gift card. The rules, if you have never seen them are HERE and by commenting below you are agreeing that you have reviewed them.

Then, on to what I need from you. Delta brags about it’s on-time record and often times is at the very top of national rankings for on-time performance. So tell me, and this does not need to be an UBER scientific breakdown, just your thoughts personally with your flying, do you feel YOUR Delta flights have mostly been on-time? Feel free to expand on your comments, but the basics is all I would like from you this week! – René

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  1. Rene,

    I have been traveling this year about 2-3 times a month. I have flown mostly on Delta, but have also used US Airways and American Airlines about 2 times each. All of my Delta flights have left within 30 minutes of planned departure. My other flights were less dependable with 1 cancellation and 2 late departures.

  2. Although recently many of my DL flights would touchdown on time, usually the delay is at the gate. Either the gate is occupied and or the gate crew is not there to receive the plane.

  3. Yup, only have had a few minor delays, but made up in flight and land on time or early. I guess Delta (and other airlines) pad their flight times to allow for delays.

  4. Yes they have, and I am actually starting to like them a little more. Let’s hope this weekend’s travel to LON follows the trend!

  5. Definitely more on time than most. Maybe because I fly in and out of Atlanta; there is an image to uphold on the home turf.

  6. I’m fly about 25k miles a year and I rarely have problems on my flights. Then again if I do it’a usually not on a connection so it’s less noticeable for me.

  7. Most of my Delta flights have been on time, but I had a really, really bad experience when they weren’t…

  8. Definitely feel Delta has a good on-time record for me, even out of LGA/JFK. At least as good as anyone can be out of the NYC area!

  9. Yes, my Delta flights have generally been on time. I just flew IAH-ATL-NYC a few days ago……all were on time.

  10. Yes… My experience has always been that delta runs on time. Although there are many things they may not get right, they certainly do ‘on time’ well.

  11. I would say for the most part my flights have been on-time except for the few select cities that always seem to have a weather delay.

  12. I love Delta. Most the flights I have been on are on-time. Although once we got to the runway at FLL and our plane was unbalanced so we went back to the gate and got sandbags put on. Kinda strange. I think this makes flying easier. I like flying but hate the hassle of security.

  13. Leave the gate on time but long takeoff waits.
    Land early or on time but no gate. One flight sat for 45 minutes just outside the gate which was empty but no grounds crew.

  14. Mostly on time except for two flights during the past year when my flights were cancelled and Delta paid for overnight hotel stays and re-booked me on the first flight out the next morning.

  15. For the most part Delta has been on time for me this year. One major mechanical earlier in the year coming into the US led to mis connect in JFK. They put me up but caused me significant out of pocket to get home from airport the next day plus lost work/leave day.

  16. Both flights this year have been almost 1/2 hour late departing, but, as i have learned to allow plenty of time for connections, it hasn’t been a particular problem.

  17. Mostly on-time with Delta. Also usually early, but I don’t give them credit for that since I’ve always assumed they pad the flight time.

  18. The vast majority of my Delta flights are on time. The only issues I have had this year has been in ATL during the summer with the occasional thunderstorm delay.

  19. Yes, mostly punctual, which is one of the reasons I prefer flying Delta. My biggest gripe is that, when there is a delay and the incoming bird finally reaches the gate, the “quick turn” time estimates typically are quite rosy and seldom accurate.

  20. Hi Rene I find that delta is generally on time however when the weather or other issues start affecting deltas contingency plans fall apart delta people are great however it seems under stress they fall apart a bit.

  21. My Delta mileage run flights this past week were all on time, including the one I flew sitting next to you in first class Rene! Cheers…

  22. Yes, they are mostly on time unless weather related. However, to accomplish this over the years they have really padded their flight times length to allow extra time if needed.

  23. It’s kind of funny, the majority of my business trips are on time, but whenever we take a vacation we are always delayed.

  24. I’m not sure I’m of too much help with your question, but, of the one flight I’ve taken with Delta, it was on time. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. They are on time, but since I fly out of JFK or LGA, they build in 30-40 mins of wiggle room on every itinerary, so it’s kind of cheating!

  26. I fly out of a small airport (regional jet) so I experience delays often and the flights are full so when there is a problem, the delay and rebooking can add hours/days even being plantinum.

  27. Mostly on time, and the agents are great about recovering and getting you where you’re going when they are not.

  28. Main line flights definitely have been on-time or very close to on-time… REGIONAL is another story! All the airlines play fast and loose with when they count regional as part of the airline and when they don’t….. lost luggage, on-time….oh the regionals are ANOTHER airline….But “WE fly to XXX of destinations within the U.S.” definitely includes all the regional flights!

  29. I would say that Delta is on time for me about 90% – 95% of the time (excluding weather or mechanical delays). The weather and mechanical delays probably amount to about 10% – 15%.

  30. 90% of the time, yes. Obviously, the more you fly the lower the percentage of on time departures, but I am happy with the consistency I have experienced.

  31. Most of my Delta flights have been on time recently. I think airlines in general have gotten better. The exception being a flight that was cancelled and I was re-booked 36 hours later due to a major snowstorm this past winter.

  32. Mostly on time, except: 1)?when there’s weather, or 2) if I have to connect through NY, either LGA or JFK. And weather happens A LOT in Atlanta – connecting in DTW, MSP or SLC is much better.

  33. Most have been on time (obvious weather delays excluded) but there are two cautions: fist I haven’t flown all year (family issues) and second: home airport is a small one with only CRJ200s and those DO have delays more frequently.

  34. My flights on Delta have generally been on-time. Even though I try to avoid JFK whenever possible, I have however been on the tarmac there for inordinate lengths of time before takeoff and after landing.

  35. Anyone that travels the Mega Medallion overloaded BHM-ATL segment knows what I mean when I say, on time is any time, as long as we push on time! The have been a TON better as of late, pardon the pun. But it’s a crap shoot whether ATLATC is going to give us a wheels up time of 10 past the hour or 10 till the hour… Sometimes we make it on time sometimes we don’t, but it is a hell of a lot better than sitting on one of those orange and blue B737, or that other E135 that looks like a tin can with spray paint, or….well you get the drift. We might be late every now and then, but we sure as hell beat the orange and blue cattle bus and the tin can that, just prior to hell freezing over, I would might take, if they converted them to refurbished plane trains and got me from E to A a little faster in ATL. Just my .02

  36. Mostly on time with Delta, however, when they are delayed it is massive….like hours and hours with plane/gate changes

  37. They are mostly on time. My primary frustration is that when they aren’t Delta doesn’t notify us quickly and I usually have to go to other sources to find out first.

  38. Maybe I have had bad luck, but 75% of my recent flights have been delayed significantly… 2+ hours. No no no on time!

  39. Generally on time, or a good reason for the delay, such as lightning at Atlanta. The ground crew can’t load the luggage when there is lightning. I’m glad that their safety is put above the flight schedule. When I understand the delay, I’m fine.

  40. 90 to 95%. That is arrivals not departures. They seem to be able to make up any delay departures easily. I still avoid tight layovers (60 minutes or less). I too am on the bloated medallion BHM-ATL connection and ATLATC always seems to screw with us in the early AM. Too much stress to start the work week.

  41. Always early when I don’t have a tight connection, late when I do! Seriously, delta does seem to be running very close to schedule the last couple of months. I like it.

  42. My Delta trips seem that they’re always in time; in fact I cannot remember a late flight thus year.

  43. @Kurt D

    To say the early Morning BHM-ATL flights are always jacked up by ATC is an understatement. I still do not understand why they do not have more directs to LGA and/or DTW. And the ones they have are on a CR7 and he dreaded CR2, respectively. I’m so accustomed to connecting via ATL I could do it in my sleep, but it would be nice to go ahead and get up north or west (SLC) occasionally. Definitely helps with getting your segments and an automatic 500 or 750 MQM very time you fly, but damn, BHM-DTW on a CR2…no thank you. I travel to AZO frequently and choose the BHM-ATL-DTW-AZO just so i can fly mainline. I’m Going to JAX Monday and could take the Southound/Greywest direct but…well I’ll just jump to ATL first on an 88 and hop on a 752 to JAX than endure that…

  44. Most of my Delta flights are on-time. However, they built so much padding into the schedule that it makes it pretty hard to miss.

  45. Mostly, except from the aftermath of winter storm that blew through Atlanta in late January. Flight delayed a dozen times, then cancelled.

  46. I’m an Uber driver and got fixated on that word in your sentence, but now that I’ve clawed my way back to the subject at hand, no recent delays on Delta.

  47. On time much of the time. But arrival times seem already inflated compared to actual flight times. So I guess they are managing expectations better – that’s what I would do to allow for a slightly late departure and still an “on time” arrival.

  48. I would agree that most flights are on-time. Usually the delay is at the board point and the DL has the schedule padded, the arrival is on-time.

  49. For me personally, they are about 90 % ontime over the years.

    Unfortunately, just spent a week in SJU, and my flight last night home was 2 hours late ! LOL

  50. Yes, very pleased with their on time record. Have not misconnected nor been more than 1/2 hour later over past year.

  51. The first flights of the are usually on time. The problem is when there is a delay and don’t give a reason.

  52. Yes for the most part I haven’t experienced the same frustration with Delta as I have with other airlines

  53. just completed 10K of flying on Delta- remarkably all flights on time arrival or slightly ahead. – nice.

  54. They have improved and my experience with Delta flights in the last 2 years is that they have arrived mostly on time or early.

  55. Delta is definitely on-time the majority of the time, for arrivals. For departure times, I feel like it is a 50/50 proposition because so much extra time is built into the schedules to pad these numbers.

  56. I find they generally take off a few minutes late but make up the difference in flight and land early or on-time. Early typically means we get to sit on the tarmac and wait on a gate at busy airports!

  57. I say “mostly” yes. I do have to laugh when I see the “on time”percentages Delta posts, because some of the flights I have taken, and some I have been monitoring, do not come close to the posted average. In a couple of weeks I have to take DL760 SMF/ATL and make a tight international connection. The on time record for this flight is dismal so I am worried and working on Plan B.

  58. Mostly on time. I do ppreciate getting as much advanced notice about possible schedule changes which Delta is generally good about.

  59. Most of my Delta flights have been on-time. For much of my travel I have the option of flying Delta connecting through ATL, or American connecting through DFW/ORD, and let’s face it, ATL is much more likely to have fine weather than the other two, so I think that must help.

  60. Mostly on time, except for couple of major misses requiring overnight in Amsterdam and missing a family Christmas gathering. But KLM handled things very professionally and kindly.

  61. Nearly all of my flights have been on time. I did a 10K MR last weekend and since I got to the airport early, I did an SDC to the same route 2 hours earlier. That turned out to be a great decision, as the originally scheduled flight was delayed by 30m and would have likely caused me to miss a connection and ruined the MR!

  62. Most of my flights are on time. Even when we depart late, it seems there is a buffer in the schedule that allows us to arrive “on time.”

  63. Yes, I believe my flights have been on time. Don’t fly as much as I used to, but the times I have flown have been all on schedule.

  64. FLights have been mostly ontime, but that is only becuase Delta pads their arrival times so well. It is a miracle, we are suddenly able to “makeup” a 30 minute delay on a 2 hour flight!

  65. The majority of my flights on Delta have been on time. My experience with Delta has been generally better than with other airlines.

  66. Yes, mine are usually on time (unless there is a weather disaster:)))
    But, you know, probably people don’t complain about this much; however, it is a bit annoying if the flight arrives early (30-60 minutes). I am a flyer with a toddler and plan my connections up to a minute relying on her schedule and if there is so much more time added to the connection, it is not always relaxing to spend it at the sky lounge:))))

  67. I think all of my flights in the past four years (regardless of carrier) have surprisingly been either on-time or only delayed by less than fifteen minutes.

  68. Before 2013 Delta was pretty much on time. However, for my trip to Alaska and my trip to Utah, they totally, royally botched it up (6 out of 10 legs were so late I missed connections and was HOURS late. They would have lost me as a customer except I have lots of Skymiles.

  69. i would say technically on time… i do jax-atl-jax-atl alot and it is a 42 minute flight but it is listed by delta as 1 hour and 15 minutes building in almost 30 minutes so it usually gets there on time.but then u have to wait at the gate till someone extends the gateway and opnes the door…then u must wait for everyone to figure out where their carry-on bag is so they can depart..

  70. I’ve had 59 segments this year, and haven’t missed a connection yet! I’ve had the last leg delayed an hour ~3 times though. I’ve been quite happy with their on-time record personally.

  71. I concur with 123, its not hard to be on time. When they say a 1.0 hour flight takes 1.5 hours. They bake a lot of fudge in their cakes.

  72. Seems like a mixed bag, even with my usual starting flight of CAE-ATL which is blocked off for just over an hour, even tho flying time is 32min.

  73. Their flights have mostly been on time, but I think they over-estimate flight times! (But I guess that is good for connections!)

  74. Yes, and not unusual to be a bit early. In fact on a flight last year we arrived more than half an hour early and had to wait until the gate was available.

  75. The majority of the flights arson time. When the flight leaves late we usually. AArrive within 5-10min.

  76. Yes, my flights have mostly been on time. The only delay I encountered recently was due to storms in our path, and we waiting for a new flight plan to be cleared.

  77. Almost always on time. There are many other things to complain about with Delta, but not on-time performance.

  78. For the most part, all of my Delta flights this year have been on-time (30+ flights). Any delays have been minor (15-20 mins).

  79. For the most part my flights are usually only 10- 15 minutes late. Not any longer than the delays when I drive to work!

  80. I had about 15 flights with Delta so far and only one was about 40 minutes late, the rest were no more than 10 minutes late.

  81. I have found the flights as a rule pretty close to on time and when not the staff very helpful and good at keeping thier cool

  82. Mostly on time for me. There have been a few instances when take off was delayed but only 20 to 30minutes. And the time lost was made up in the air.

  83. I believe they have been, but, honestly, it’s been quite a while since I’ve flown Delta that I can’t remember. However, I do have a flight to DCA booked on Delta next month, so I’ll have more to report then.

  84. Here are my last 4 delta flights:
    PHX 2 hour late
    LAX 7 hour late
    HNL on time
    BOS 1.45 hour late

    I’m starting to think it’s me 🙂

  85. Most of my flights are late leaving the gate. Just because Delta adds time to scheduled flight doesnt mean its on time. A LGA to IAD flight is scheduled for an hour 37. Its really a half hour flight.

  86. Only have had minor gate delays, but made up in flight. Airlines pad their departure and arrival times to account for these issues.

  87. I have been fortunate that nearly all of my flights have been on time. For the few instances of delays I was able to reroute to a co-terminal and get home sooner.

  88. Mainly on time or early arrival, departures sometimes delayed around 25 percent. Almost all my flights are international except when I must connect through Atlanta or Detroit.

  89. Most flights in the past year have been close. I connect through DTW, and sometimes have to run through the tunnel (hate the lights and the music), because they sometimes only give me 30 minutes. Successful so far.

  90. Out of 2 Delta flights I took this year one was on time, the second one was delayed for 3 hours due to technical problems with the aircraft

  91. I fly out of a small regional airport and have had good luck with on time Delta flights. And if they do depart late, they manage to make up the time in the air so our arrival is in tine.

  92. Yes, I would estimate that nearly 75% of my flights arrive on time. Any flight delays tend to be weather related in my experience. Thanks for the giveaway!

  93. I have had few problems other than snow delays at JFK. There seems to be a concerted effort by Delta FAs to get passengers seated, so flight can push back and go, than there was previously. There is usually enough padding in the schedule to make up for any delays at departure. LAX used to the worst about delays after landing, but even that has improved this year (for me at least!)

  94. 95%+ on time last few years. Delays are almost always weather related if they happen. Usually that’s afternoon in the summer when the popup thunderstorms are prevalent in the Southeast, i.e. Atlanta.

  95. Much less mystery regarding delays on DL than UA and AA…that’s why I love DL. No matter what happens, I feel less risk and more transparency with DL.

  96. My last flights with Delta have been on time other than when it was a weather related incident. I cannot fault Delta for those delays.

  97. Most of my flights have arrived on time I would
    Estimate about 90% of the time! I love delta

  98. Most of my flights have been on time out of the major airports (DTW/MSP/SAN/LAX/OAK/SLC). I usually only have trouble when I depart out of LAN.

  99. No I do not. I have flown delta 4 times in the last year and 3 of the times a flight was delayed for more than 30 mins

  100. I believe that most of my flights are generally on time. Atlanta or JFK can cause some problems but not too bad. I think the reasoning behind Delta’s great on-time stats is because they add A TON of extra time into the flight time in expectation of delays.

  101. Nearly every single one of my Delta flights was on time in 2014. Except my last flight…..delayed and misconnected in ATL 🙁

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