More than 19% of Southwest flights arrived late between December 1, 2010 and November 30, 2011, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). So this reinforces the importance of checking the Southwest flight status when booking your flight or before heading to the airport.

Southwest had a total of 1,155,671 flights during this time period. BTS tracks the flight status of airlines in depth, so let’s take a look at the flight status of late arriving flights for Southwest more closely:

  • Total flights arriving late: 220,543
  • Average departure delay: 51.10 minutes
  • Average taxi-out time: 12.45 minutes
  • Average scheduled departure to take-off: 63.55 minutes
  • Average arrival delay: 50.84 minutes
  • Average airborne time: 95.54 minutes
  • Average taxi-in minutes: 5.74 minutes

Causes behind those Southwest flight status delays vary. Do you think weather has the biggest impact? Think again. BTS identifies the causes for delays at the destination as follows (average in minutes):

  • Carrier: 13.23 minutes
  • Weather: 1.92 minutes
  • National Aviation System: 6.31 minutes
  • Security: .15 minutes
  • Late aircraft arrival: 28.07 minutes

To be sure, most flights depart on time. In fact, the average departure delay of all flights during this time period was only 11.87 minutes. The other reason it’s important to check Southwest flight status is because cancelled flights are another reality. There were 13,525 flights cancelled during this time — about 1.17% of all flights.

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Want to know more about an Southwest flight status? This flight status search tool gives you the option of searching by flight, airport and route. Check the flight status of your departure airport and even your arrival city to determine if weather or other conditions may present a possible delay. Road warriors tend to also know which city their flight may have previously originated — a smart way to check if flight status issues will impact the departure time of their Southwest flight status.

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Before you book that next Southwest flight, this tool allows you an opportunity to check if a particular flight has a favorable on-time rating. Simply enter the departure and arrival airports, or enter a specific flight and its time of day.


Are you looking for information about Southwest airport lounges? Check out our feature that highlights what you should know about airport lounges.