Air Travel

Sea-Tac Is the Most On-Time Airport

We’re number one! We’re number one!

By Allison Williams November 7, 2011

Sure, it may take you two hours to get to SeaTac, but your flight will depart on time.

Holiday travel isn’t so bad—as long as you’re flying out of Seattle. In a study by Travel and Leisure magazine, Sea-Tac was named the best in the country for flight delays. Take that, Portland! (Well, they’re ranked second best. Congratulations, guys.)

The list is compiled using numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics; every flight that takes off more than 15 minutes after its scheduled departure is counted. With a mere 13.1 percent of flights leaving late between July 2010 to June 2011, Sea-Tac snagged the top spot.

The bad news? Things are getting worse. We boasted a mere 10 percent late rate in the previous year, when the airport was similarly ranked number one. Second-place PDX is close at our heels with a 13.5 percent delay rate this year. But don’t let that get you down; when you return home, you’ve got a good chance of making it on time—some 87.8 percent of incoming Sea-Tac flights arrive on schedule, the second-best record in the country.

Of course, most plane flights involve more than one airport. The country’s three worst airports for flight delays are in San Francisco (SFO), Baltimore (BWI), and Chicago (MDW). Your best bet may be to simply fly to Portland and back.

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