An American Airlines jet prepares to land as a Spirit Airlines jet taxis at O'Hare International Airport on September 19, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images
By Claire Groden
September 10, 2015

Spirit Airlines was the least punctual major airline in July, capping off a three-month streak of placing at the very bottom of on-time arrivals among other U.S. airlines. Only 68.7% of the airline’s planes arrived on time during July, compared to an industry average for the month of 78.1%.

Frontier Airlines ranked second-lowest for the month, with 71.4% of arrivals occurring on time, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released Thursday. Southwest and United Airlines tied for third-worst in on-time arrivals at 73.5%.

The good news is that all four of the month’s least punctual airlines had actually improved their performance from June. That month, Spirit Airlines was on time only 49.9% of the time, Frontier Airlines 67.6% of the time, and United and Southwest 66.3% and 72.5% of the time, respectively.

July showed marked improvements across the major airlines as a whole, beyond the laggards. Airplanes arrived on time 78.1% of the time–a 3.3% increase from the previous month and 2.5% increase from last July. Meanwhile, the overall cancellation rate of .9% was the lowest compared to that of any July in the past 21 years.

Major airlines have been under increased scrutiny for quality and fares in recent months due to a wave of consolidation that shifted a competitive market of nine large airlines into only four mega-carriers.

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