Mar 28, 2023 - News

Sea-Tac's December performance was among nation's worst

Data: Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had one of the worst rates of on-time flights in the country in December, even as other airports were more deeply affected by Southwest Airlines' epic meltdown.

By the numbers: Only 61.7% of domestic flights departed Sea-Tac on time in December 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

  • Nationally, 69.1% of December's flights departed on time.

The big picture: Throughout most of last year, Sea-Tac outperformed the national average when it came to its percentage of on-time flights.

  • But a severe ice storm during the peak of holiday travel in December caused Sea-Tac's on-time performance to tank for the month.
  • Sea-Tac officials told Axios earlier this year that Southwest Airlines' systemwide delays were less of a factor than the ice, since Sea-Tac isn't a big Southwest hub.

Zoom in: At Sea-Tac in December, Southwest's on-time rate roughly matched the average on-time rates across all airlines.

  • By comparison, at other airports, Southwest's performance was far worse.

The bottom line: Between the bad weather and Southwest's operational challenges, flying in December was truly just as bad as it seemed, the data shows.


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