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The Best And Worst Airlines, Labor Day Update: Spirit Is A Mess

More Americans are expected to get out of town on Labor Day weekend this year than in any since 2008, with 2.6 million projected to travel by plane, according to AAA. If you are among the fliers, your travel plan might come with a fair amount of anxiety about not getting off the ground on time — about finding yourself slouched in an airport terminal chair hopelessly watching the gate marquee as your departure time keeps getting pushed back in 30-minute increments.


Interactive: Using detailed flight data from October 2014 through September 2015, we determined the best and worst airlines, airports and routes. Look up your local hub or plan your next flight »

Air travel can make you feel helpless, but you can take steps to avoid the agony by using our fastest-flights interactive. We’ve developed a way of gauging the performance of airlines, the delays caused by airports and the quickness of different routes that we think is smarter than other on-time performance statistics. And we just updated it with the most recent year of flight data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The key takeaway? If you despise Spirit Airlines, this is your chance to drink deep from the cup of schadenfreude.


On average, deciding to fly Spirit added 11 minutes to a person’s total flight time between July 2014 and June 2015. That average was made much worse by Spirit’s abominable on-time performance in June, which the airline attributed to weather. (Spirit didn’t fare so well in May either.)


Pop over to the interactive to see the best airlines and airports for your upcoming travel.

Ritchie King was a senior editor for data visualization at FiveThirtyEight.