A large majority of flights arrive on time, according to "Travel + Leisure" magazine. On average, data through June 2011 shows on-time flights at nearly 80 percent rates for all airlines. In order to arrive on time, your flight must leave at or close to the scheduled departure time. With wide disparities in on-time records among major carriers and unavoidable delays caused by weather and airport security, getting an update on your flight's departure status could mean the difference between an uneventful check-in and departure or unnecessary idling in the airport terminal along with missed connections.

Step 1.

Check the Federal Aviation Administration's (fly.faa.gov) website for updates on system-wide and regional air travel disruptions caused by weather or air traffic control. You can retrieve information on flight delays by region and by city.

Step 2.

Call your airline's customer service number before you leave for the airport. Use the voice prompts to navigate through the system to flight information. Have your flight number handy. You will need to enter the information to get an updated flight status.

Step 3.

Get your updated flight information on the airline's website. Go to the flight status section of the website, then type in the time of your original departure, the airport and destination city. Your airline might let you use the flight number instead.


Sign up on your airline's website to receive updated travel information about your flight. Airlines that provide this service let you receive automated voice messages on home and mobile phones. You might be able to choose text messages that let you stay updated while in route or at the airport.

Some airlines have a better on-time record than others. Booking your trip with these airlines can reduce the likelihood of a delayed flight.

Specific airline carrier routes also have on-time records that are better or worse than the industry average. Compare each airline’s percentage of delayed flights on the route for your trip before you book.

Once you are inside the airport, check individual airline monitors near check-in counters and your airline's departure gates for updates on your delayed flight.


The new departure time for your delayed flight might change unexpectedly when weather, equipment malfunctions and air traffic problems take less time than estimated.

Gate changes can occur for delayed flights. After you check in, watch airline monitors for terminal and gate changes. Listen for announcements regarding your flight number or destination city.