A flight delay is one of the worst-possible starts to a holiday.
But, according to new research, a passenger's choice of airline can significantly impact their probability of a punctual take-off.
According to consumer champions Which?, who studied 850,000 inbound flights across 35 airlines at 25 UK airports, there's a trio of worst-offenders who are repeatedly tardy on the tarmac.
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Take-off to a bad start: Only 55 per cent of Air Transat’s inbound flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time, putting them bottom of the table
Air Transat, Icelandair and Norwegian have all been identified as the commercial carriers most likely to land late.
Only 55 per cent of Air Transat’s inbound flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time, putting them bottom of the table.
Icelandair saw 56 per cent of flights arrive on time, making them second-worst, while the best of a bad bunch was Norwegian, with 60 per cent.
Transat said that the data does not take into account delays caused by factors beyond their control, such as the weather or air traffic control.
It said that excluding those factors, 78.02% of their flights would arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.
Meawnhile, Icelandair said: 'We had a difficult spell early last summer, due to ATC strikes and KEF [Keflavík] airport renovations, and despite improved OTP [on time performance] for the rest of the year it unfortunately affects our overall record.'
A Norwegian spokesperson said: 'Flight delays can be caused by a range of factors, many of which are beyond the control of airlines such as weather, strikes and capacity constrained airports. However Norwegian is committed to keep improving punctuality, and where factors are within our direct control we have introduced new measures to continue delivering a smooth, efficient experience for our passengers.'
Behind schedule: Which? surveyed 850,000 inbound flights across 35 airlines at 25 UK airports, finding that Icelandair was the second-worst for punctual arrivals
Timed travel: KLM was named the most punctual airline with 88% of their flights on schedule
At the other end of the spectrum, KLM was crowned the most punctual airline, with 88 per cent of flights arriving on time.
It beat Qatar Airways into second place (86 per cent) and Iberia into third (84 per cent).
Passengers who travel on delayed flights are potentially in line for compensation under the current EU Denied Boarding Regulation.
If you’re unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation is available and people should claim what they’re entitled to
Richard Headland, Which? editor
However, where flights are delayed due to factors such as extreme weather or airport strikes, they’re unlikely to get compensation.
Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said: 'Flight delays are one of the most annoying things about travelling. These figures show just how frequently flights fail to reach their destination on time.
'If you’re unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation is available and people should claim what they’re rightly entitled to.
'We know that resolving complaints with airlines can be very tricky process, so we’re calling on the next Government to legislate for a new, mandatory Transport Ombudsman.'
THE FULL LIST: BEST TO WORST
4. Aer Lingus
5. Etihad Airways
7. Wizz Air
9. Virgin Atlanic
10. Aurigny Air
20. South African Airways
21. Thomas Cook
26. American Airlines
11. Air Malta
14 Swiss Air
16. Singapore Airlines
17. United Airlines
18. British Airways
30. Air Portugal
31. Air Canada
35. Air Transat