2007 US airline delay results Minneapolis not factored in?

lazyairlineemployee.jpgHi. I’m back in Minneapolis now. Did I miss anything? I heard the weather was awesome.

My flight home from SFO departed exactly 90 minutes late yesterday, like clockwork. I realize that a 90 minute delay isn’t even remotely as objectionable as say a 24 hour delay at JFK with no recourse, but still this is something like the 9th consecutive Northworst flight I’ve taken now that was late for totally avoidable, trivial reasons (a seat in economy needed a mechanic’s attention before we could take off).

So, it’s Super Tuesday today and voting doesn’t start for several hours, as such news outlets are filling space by scooping out the bottom of the 2007 Year-End Stats Barrel. This Yahoo clip reports that 2007 was the second worst year for airline delays since the birth of Christ. Well, duh. Kudos to the Transportation Department’s Division of Obvious Facts. But hold on, something doesn’t seem quite right.

They claim that in 2007 airlines were late “more than 26 percent of the time”. Does this seem a little off to anyone else? I fly a lot and unless I’ve forgotten how to calculate percentages (which is entirely possible dammit Jim, I’m a travel writer not a statistician), the cumulative domestic flights I took in 2007 left late about 78% of the time. Wait, is anything under a 90 minute late departure no longer considered “delayed”?

I wonder if these numbers are off because MSP was not included in the sampling process? Maybe they left us out because they thought our numbers would skew the overall results since were largely trapped into flying Northworst and Delta out of Minneapolis, a conglomeration of degenerates and pinheads that couldn’t get a plane off the ground on time if you waved a squillion dollar bill in front of their faces.

Is it just my infernal airport luck that’s tainting my personal numbers or does everyone else think this 26% stat is about 50 points shy of MSP’s numbers?

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Rants | 5.02.2008 11:31 | 8 Comments

8 Comments on “2007 US airline delay results Minneapolis not factored in?”

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Nathan Stohlmann

According to the data from the FAA, Northwest’s record at MSP is actually better than their national average by nearly 4%.


5.02.2008 12:09

Bob Collins

The Minneapolis numbers are factored in. See here.

5.02.2008 12:50


Hans concurs. In fact, I’ll go out on a percentage-induced limb and say I cannot think of a time in the last 3 years that I have been on a flight that was “on time.” Which makes my math lead me to say 2-4% “on time.” With the exception of AirTran who’s been treating me right for years.

I have about 9 stop-overs coming up here in March. I’ll be MoBlogging on that and how NWA/KLM treats me compared to Aer Lingus (God that sounds dirty… keep saying it… ish).

Treat me RIGHT STAR ALLIANCE… i just want a blanket, a cocktail and to be within 4 hours of my scheduled arrival. No biggy.

5.02.2008 14:05


Well, crap. It’s as I expected all along – God hates me. If there is a god, which there isn’t according to South Park.

5.02.2008 15:26


Did it stop raining while you were in SF?
After years of routine 60-90 min delays, I noticed that NWA quite improved over the last 4-5 years, at least for me. The “food” on the other hand? I pack my own.

6.02.2008 18:14


Joanna – It stopped raining in SF three hours before I left for the airport. See comment above about God hating me. I’m still baffled by the MSP numbers. Am I suffering selective failure of my anti-psychotic meds? I can only remember one single on-time flight that I took in 2007 – a quickie between JFK and DC. The remainder ALL left a minimum of one hour late. Swear to God.

Hanson – I look forward to your flight blogging. I expect you’ll repeat ‘Aer Lingus’ frequently for us readers that appreciate that kind of humor.

7.02.2008 10:04


It will be my first International MoBlog event. I can’t make any guarantees, I’m leaving the MacNasty at home. BUT I can make the following promise:

I shall strive to find the answers to “Things that Rhyme with Aer Lingus for $500 please.” And I fully expect to be served up prompt service,an obligatory pint of Guinness and perhaps some dried marshmellowy ceral.


7.02.2008 10:22

Myrtle Schmeckpepper

No official confirmation on this, but I believe many of the airlines schedule their flying time longer than it will actually take so that even if they leave late, they can arrive “on time” and therefore avoid the “late” mark. Perhaps that’s what’s going on.

19.03.2008 10:38

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