The faster flights in america, revealed

fivethirtyeight map

Here is a very interesting study and interactive tool that can be found at FiveThirtyEight, the brainchild of Nate Silver, one of the World's top big data gurus.

The authors have crunched data from some 6 million flights in the US in order to determine which are the fastest airlines between any two points. 

Their technique goes well beyond the usual "most on time" statistics, since it looks at a whole number of factors together, for example, it compares apples to apples and pears to pears, after all, an airline operating out of a heavily congested airport will find it more difficult to stick to schedules than one that flies to regional airports. 

The study also discounts some airlines' practice of scheduling flights by allocating more time than it is really necessary, a way to trick the punctuality statistics: for example, let's say it takes usually one hour to complete a given flight, the airline may schedule by allocating 1h 15min, as the flight would only be officially "delayed" if it arrives later than scheduled, the airline can still be 10min late and claim that it has arrived before scheduled time.

The ultimate goal is to set up a neutral, comparable benchmark to compare airlines' and airports' performances. Yo ucan find an explanation of the methodology used here.

Would be great is someone could find the time and motivation to do the same exercise for European airports!

fastest airlines