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Lasse Sep 2nd, 2010 11:37 PM

Delta, JFK-Copenhagen
Why are the Delta flights from JFK to Copenhagen and back delayed so often? Approx more than 50% of the flights can, according to, be regarded as " Very late" or even "Excessive"(46%!). Only a third (20 out of 60) of the flights this season are on time and 5% are cancelled. The average delay this season is almost 1.5 hours and delays up to three - four hours are not rare.
Why can´t one of the world´s biggest airlines do better than that?
Deltas´s ticket prices are fairly low, but next time I'll prefere to to pick an ailine with better statistics.


travelgourmet Sep 3rd, 2010 12:48 AM

<i>Why are the Delta flights from JFK to Copenhagen and back delayed so often? </i>

1) JFK experiences a lot of delays. During the 7-7:59 pm time slot that this flight operates in, roughly 53% of flights at that airport are delayed.
2) As this flight leaves at the end of the day, delays in the system can have a knock-on effect.
3) Stuff happens.

NoFlyZone Sep 3rd, 2010 05:58 AM

Plus, Delta is generally pretty good about holding flights for late connecting passengers, especially international and last flight of the day.

J62 Sep 3rd, 2010 08:27 AM

tg hit the nail on the head. 50% delayed out of JFK isn't uncommon. A more important thing to check is on-time arrival rate. There is some slop built into the schedules, and you might be surprised to see that it arrives on time (or nearly on time) at a higher %.

rkkwan Sep 3rd, 2010 09:04 AM

The stats compiled by are for arrival already. Less than 15 minutes late in door opening at destination is "on-time".

DonTopaz Sep 3rd, 2010 09:41 AM

I think people are making excuses for Delta. Yeah, JFK is a busy place and delays not uncommon, but DL seems to be much worse than average.

Look at flights to Heathrow, for example. To use the same timer period as the OP's flight, BA has flights from JFK scheduled at 6.20pm, 7.00pm, and 7.35pm, and they have on-time percentages of 84%, 74%, and 60%. DL's flight at 6.45 has an on-time % of 47%.

And of the 4 flights from JFK to Tokyo, the worst on-time % belongs to DL (AA: 92%, JL: 87%, NH: 76%, DL: 74%).

I know, it's not all that difficult to twist statistics. But it's also easy to blame some mystical force for a company's lack of competence.

Seems to me that DL, on average, has a noticeably worse on-time record for from JFK than do most other carriers.

(p.s.: <b>J62</b>, do you have any basis for saying that "50% delayed out of JFK isn't uncommon," or is today Make Up a Fact Day?)

rkkwan Sep 3rd, 2010 09:52 AM

I haven't read numbers for this summer yet, but for the peak travel summers around 2007 and 2008, the NYC airports and PHL have consistently the worst on-time performance in those months, at around 65%. That's counting the whole day. And we know that late afternoon/early evening is worst. So, 53% on-time performance at 7-8p is totally believable.

BTW, I'm not saying anything about DL. They might indeed be worst. They have a significant operation spread over 3 terminals, at least one of them should have been demolished years ago. One time my flight late afternoon from T4 was significantly delayed because that gate (B20) actually has TWO jetways feeding two different planes - just imagine the chaos.

DonTopaz Sep 3rd, 2010 10:00 AM

Problem is, Ray, that the DL JFK-CPH flight has a reported on-time record of just <b>27%</b>. That's pretty grim.

J62 Sep 3rd, 2010 07:25 PM

Excellent, insightful question rizzuto. Thank you for asking.

Since I fly in/out of JFK quite a bit I've looked into JFK flight stats quite a bit, just out of curiosity.

The US DOT has a very good website, including a this one which shows a list of chronically delayed flights (>50% frequency) with arrival >30min delayed.

A couple of trends I've noticed.

For departure, ATL and ORD seem to have the most chronically delayed flights

For arrival, ATL, ORD, EWR, and SFO are the worst (2010 stats)

Regional carriers (Skywest (united?), Comair (as Delta), Express Jet/CO express, Mesa, Pinnacle, and American Eagle are far worse than the mainline carriers.

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