If you are flying Spirit Airlines (SAVE), there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll be arriving late.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has released its latest Air Travel Consumer Report, and it’s a rough ride for the low-budget airline. Only 49.9% of its flights arrived within 15 minutes of schedule, which is the government’s definition of being on time. That figure, according to the Associated Press, is the worst on-time performance by a major airline in 10 years.
That number is some ways behind United Airlines (UAL) (66.3% of flights arrived on time) and Frontier Airlines (67.6% hit the on-time target) in the rankings. In response, United Airlines acknowledged their poor ranking, attributing it to maintenance issues and bad weather. “It wasn’t the performance we like to provide for our customers,” United spokesman Charlie Hobart said.
Unsurprisingly, Spirit also had the highest complaint rate of any U.S. airline, with around 19 complaints per 100,000 boarding passengers. To put that in perspective, the next highest rate was Frontier Airlines with around 7 complaints per 100,000 passengers.
Spirit has ranked number one in customer complaints about U.S. airlines filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation every year from 2009 to 2013, according to a study of five years of government data. It’s a reputation the company subtly recognized in its “State of Hate” marketing campaign it conducted late last year.
Conversely, Hawaiian Airlines enjoyed the highest on-time arrivals of its flights with a 90.5% rate, though it benefits from shorter routes in relatively fine weather. Of the major airlines, Delta Airlines (DAL) had the best performance with an on-time rate of 82.2%.