Which Airlines Have Most Often Delayed or Cancelled Flights?

13 Sep 2018 by Olga Brighton

Travel Information

There’s no better way of getting your holiday off to a bad start than a delayed flight, or worse still, cancelled altogether. Unfortunately, delays are sometimes inevitable, and even the best airlines in the world will experience delays from time to time. However, there are certain airlines with a reputation for delayed and cancelled flights. So, before you pack your bags and take out your travel insurance, take a look at these 5 airlines with a reputation for commonly delaying or cancelling flights. That’s not to say that these airlines won’t provide you with the best option for your chosen location in terms of availability, timing and cost, but just beware that things may not go completely to plan on your journey.

It’s worth considering travel insurance that covers delays and cancellations. This can save you money and provide extra peace of mind – especially when booking with a budget airline, or one with a reputation for delays!

US Airways

American Airlines delayed flight

It’s one of the biggest airline carriers in the United States, yet US Airways still has a reputation for delaying and/or cancelling flights, sometimes with a moment’s notice. Statistically, 1 in every 4 US Airways flights is delayed, though there are recently signs of improvement. It isn’t just the punctuality of these flights that you should consider, as they also have a less than great reputation for service and lost luggage. In fact, nearly 3% of all passengers report issues with their luggage being damaged, lost, or stolen.

Read also: Would Your Hand Luggage Pass the Savvy-Traveller Test?

Bulgaria Air

Bulgaria Air are another airline that all too often gets the wrong kind of attention. Bulgaria Air was created back in 2002, by the Bulgarian government, and unfortunately, things haven’t gone great since. In fact, they have found themselves on numerous air travel blacklists for their unreliability. Bulgaria Air has a fleet of just 10 planes, offering flights to around 26 destinations around the globe. However, amazingly, recent flight statistics show that for certain cities, such as Vienna and Sofia, the airline has a cancellation rate of 100%!

United Airlines

United Airlines cancelled width=

If you are a social media user, a year or so ago, you may remember a viral video of an Asian man being forcefully removed from his seat on a United Airlines flight, for seemingly no reason at all. This was one of the many such issues surrounding this particular airline, which has a reputation for poor customer service. United Airlines on-time performance also leaves a lot to be desired, with averages between 70 and 75%, meaning 1 in every 4 flights is delayed. What’s more, nearly 4 out of every 1000 customers has experienced issues with lost, delayed, damaged, or stolen baggage. They were recently fined $1 Million for keeping so many passengers waiting.


EasyJet is one of many low-budget European airlines designed to provide cheap and cheerful, budget flights. Needless to say, as this is a low-budget airline, is a no-frills, no-luxury journey, so don’t expect complimentary drinks, food, or in-flight entertainment. Their reputation for punctuality is no-frills too. They have frequently been rated 2 Stars or below for how they handle delays and cancellations. One of the biggest complaints is a lack of information, as passengers are basically kept in the dark when there is a delay. Not ideal when trying to plan your onward journey.


RyanAir delay

RyanAir are a Dublin-based airline. Like EasyJet, they are useful if you need a cheap flight, providing you are willing to take the risk as to whether or not your flight arrives on time, or if it even arrives at all. One reason they can offer such incredibly cheap airfares is the fact that they have cut as many corners as possible to keep prices low, but it shows. The seats don’t recline, there are fewer facilities on board, legroom is pitifully limited, and you may be hit with all the extra’s when booking your seat which end up making the flight not so cheap. They commoditise every element of the booking, including allocated seats and paying with credit cards. The most common cause of customer frustration however, is delayed and cancelled flights, so just bear that in mind.

And that brings our article to a close. Remember, when researching your travel insurance policy, accommodation, and what to do when you get abroad, don’t forget to do a little research into the airlines you will be flying with. Many of the airlines on our list are budget airlines, so you may ‘get what you pay for’.

Read also: Delayed or Lost Airport Luggage: What You Should Do

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