Southwest Airlines slips in September on-time performance


Southwest Airlines had an operationally challenging September, according to data released this week by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Of the 33 chronically most delayed scheduled flights in September, 26 of them were operated by Southwest. Even worse, Southwest flights held the first nine places on the list, which consists of flights that were delayed at least 50 percent of the time by a minimum of 30 minutes.

No other major airline was on the list. Regional carriers Skywest and Expressjet occupied all the other slots.

The worst offender was Southwest 3679 from Chicago Midway to St. Louis. It was late 82 percent of the time, by an average of 54 minutes.

We don’t usually see much of Los Angeles on these lists because of our stellar weather tends to limit delays. But Southwest had some troubles in L.A. in September, with four LAX flights making the ‘worst’ list. Here they are:

Rank Flight Route % of days late Avg delay
6 3847 STL-LAX 65.22 56 minutes
17 1791 LAX-SFO 56 79 minutes
22 4458 OAK-LAX 53.85 62 minutes
30 4412 LAX-SFO 52 57 minutes

Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew sent over this statement:

It’s a combination of unexpected summer weather and some changes we made to our flight schedule that have us behind the pack in ontime performance. We are aware of the pain points; we’re working on schedule tweaks to improve our performance in the next few months.

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