Feb 15, 2023 - News

Chicago's O'Hare saw more flights depart on time last fall

Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

More than 81% of domestic flights from O'Hare departed on time in November 2022, per the latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.

The big picture: At the national level, airlines performed admirably throughout autumn 2022, with on-time departure rates at or above 80% from September to November.

Zoom in: Among the cities with Axios Local newsrooms, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport had the best on-time performance in November 2022, at 88%.

  • Denver — where brutal storms tend to snarl wintertime operations — had the lowest, at 76%.

Yes, but: This dataset doesn't include December's meltdown at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which led to thousands of cancellations and delays at that particular carrier nationwide.

  • Expect those delays to show up in the next data release, where they'll almost assuredly drag down the systemwide numbers.
  • Southwest Airlines leaders testified before Congress last week and blamed their colossal failures on, what else, Chicago weather.
  • Southwest officials also say they still have thousands of passengers to reimburse and hundreds of unclaimed bags.

Of note: Other airlines didn't have nearly as many cancellations as Southwest.

Be smart: Because airlines' systems and routes are so interconnected, problems at one airport or in one region tend to cascade nationwide.

  • Foul weather here can mean delays in Houston, because planes get stuck and can't make their next planned leg.

The bottom line: Generally speaking, on-time performance tends to dip in the summer (owing to thunderstorms and the vacation rush) and winter (due to blizzards and holiday crowds) and improve in the spring and fall.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove a reference to the number of cities with Axios Local newsrooms.


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