Jan 6, 2020

If you’re looking for an on-time flight at a major airport, you can’t do better in the U.S. than Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The OAG Punctuality League this week announced its on-time performance rankings for global airlines and airports, and MSP ranked second globally in 2019 among major airports with an on-time performance record of 83.27 percent.

The OAG categorizes “major” airports as those with 20-30 million departing scheduled seats per year.

MSP was topped only by Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 83.42 percent. MSP’s ranking was the best in the U.S. for an airport its size.

Last year’s strong on-time performance is not an anomaly for MSP, which ranked third in 2018 and first in 2017.

The OAG report says that weather is the single largest obstacle to on-time performance. Considering MSP’s regular challenges with winter weather – and in particular February of 2019 – MSP’s move up in the rankings from 2018 is an eye-opener.

Last February, MSP saw 39 inches of total snowfall. That set the record for the snowiest February ever in the Twin Cities, and the fourth snowiest month of all time for the metro area. 

By comparison, an average February in the Twin Cities delivers 7.7 inches of snow.


See video of MSP's snow-removing field maintenance team in action at this website.

MSP’s on-time ranking is the result of a team effort, including the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s field maintenance crews and their award-winning snow removal efforts. The MAC’s airside operations department, the Federal Aviation Administration and everyone working and volunteering in the ticketing lobbies and security checkpoints -- who get people to their departing flights on time – play important roles as well. That includes the TSA and the airlines. 

Delta Air Lines, which has its second-largest hub at MSP, was ranked number four among mega airlines in 2019, with an 83.5 percent on-time performance. Delta also ranked second among North American airlines, with Hawaiian finishing first in that category. Alaska Airlines was third, Spirit Airlines was fourth and Southwest Airlines was fifth – all three of which serve MSP.