United improved on-time performance (slightly) in July

United Airlines' on-time performance improved slightly in July. Photo: United.

United Airlines' on-time performance improved slightly in July. Photo: United.

United Airlines improved its on-time performance slightly in July after a rough June, the airline told employees recently. 

Here are the details:

  • The airline's A:00 rate - those are flights that arrive exactly on-time or slightly early - was 58.2% in June. How does that compare?
    • Delta's rate was 68%
    • American's was 61.8%
    • Southwest's was 53.8%. [For more on Southwest's struggles, see this story.]
  • United's goal for the month was to have an A:00 rate of 61.8%, so it was 3.6 points short.
  • If you exclude July 8 - that's the day a router problem grounded all flights - United's A:00 rate would have been 59.5%.  
  • United's D:00 rate - those are flights that push back exactly on-time or early - was even worse. That rate was 48.2% in July. Remarkably this was a six-point improvement from June.

A reminder: The U.S. Department of Transportation is more forgiving than United. When the government reports on-time numbers for July, all airlines will be compared on their D:14 and A:14 scores. Under these rules, flights are technically considered on-time so long as they depart or arrive within 14 minutes of the scheduled time.