Well, the reports are in. The list of the most punctual airlines in the world has been made, courtesy of www.cnn.com and of course to no surprise, Japanese airlines have come out on top!
The main two airlines in Japan are, of course, ANA (All Nippon Airways) and JAL (Japan Airlines). And both, have come out stellar in the ratings for 2015.
The airline sporting the patriotic red, white, and black color scheme came in at number four on the top 5 list of 2015, with an astonishing 90.44% punctuality rate. This surprised me! I mean, statistics don’t lie and all, but my personal experience has been nowhere near that percentage. The last time I flew JAL was in 2008, and I have not repeated the experience since. Perhaps new management and restructuring have brought them to the forefront of punctuality. Maybe I will test this theory out on my next flight. JAL passengers can gain miles and points through the Oneworld Alliance program, with noted airlines including Quantas, Finnair, and Cathay Pacific.
Following JAL in the fifth and final top five spot, ANA fell just shy of JAL at an 89.65% punctuality rate. ANA is my most preferred airline of the two, by far. Call me crazy, but I love the blue and white color scheme, the uniforms, and the fact that I can earn miles using Star Alliance. I have been a Star Alliance fan for years, United, Air Canada, and Asiana Airlines are my go-to companies. They also have Star Wars planes. I mean, come on! STAR WARS PLANES!
According to the CNN article, “Japan’s strong showing [is] down to the country’s timekeeping traditions as well as long experience handling larger aircraft for domestic flights.”
I could not agree more. We are, after all, a punctual people. The trains are on time, meetings are early, and being late is just completely shameful. My personal worst traveling experiences ever were with international airlines. I won’t name names, but a five-hour delay in Bali had me seething, and a seven-hour delay in Alicante, Spain nearly pushed me over the edge. Seven hours. In the airport. Next to the kiosk. The same song played for those seven hours, to give you and indication of the horror, see the music video here.
The moral of the story is if you are coming to Japan, and want to arrive on time and unagitated, use ANA or JAL. No need to count the minutes and pass the time with these carriers.