The 20 Planes That Are Delayed Most Often

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. If you look at FlightAware or FlightRadar24 for the past month, N666UA still departs late for every flight, regardless of the departing airport. N684UA at least departs on time ~10% of the time.

  2. The UA 77W delays are associated with the India diversions earlier in the year due to closed Pakistani airspace. UA added a MUC/FRA stop with crew change under the same flight number which added ~4h delays in both directions every day until the service was suspended. The N666UA delays are self-explanatory (!)

  3. “Air Zimbabwe is so backwards…..”

    Failures of Air Zimbabwe aside, have you ever used this phrase to describe a western airline, Gary? Surprised you didn’t go ahead and call it primitive while you were at it.

  4. The airline has been corrupt and has been used as a political plaything. There hasn’t been a published audit in a decade. They’ve pulled out of markets over unpaid debts, out of concern their aircraft would be repossessed. They’ve ceased operations several times this decade. They were banned by the EU for failure to follow safety standards.

    What U.S. or European airline do you believe ought to be described in a similar manner?

  5. @Gary
    I don’t think you understand the crux of the issue. I’m not defending Air Zimbabwe’s management nor their ongoing issues, but specifically taking issue with your usage of the word “backwards” to describe them. This is a term that’s been used to deride and belittle African people (and African-Americans) since colonialism. Primitive and savage are also in that category. If you were unaware, you could admit as much and do better, but since you want to double down, let’s look at your choice of language for western airlines.

    When Boeing spent months defending their grounded, non-airworthy aircraft thats killed dozens of people, you didn’t call them backwards. Not even when it came to light that they knew about these issues months in advance.

    When Alitalia was bailed out again for the umpteenth time, you didn’t call them backwards.

    When Air Berlin’s bankruptcy administrator started going after passengers who disputed their tickets with their banks/cc companies after they ceased operations… didn’t use backwards there either. You actually wrote a post and spent time explaining why they would attempt do that.

    When Via Air, a domestic airline, got an F rating by the BBB, stopped paying their employees, didn’t show up to inaugural’s flights they launched, and then filed for bankruptcy, you didn’t call them backwards. You used the term…..checks notes….hopeful to describe them as they went through bankruptcy.

    When Airbus was investigated for a corruption deal regarding Eurofighter jets, to the tune of 4 billion euros……you didn’t call them backwards. You…..checks notes…..didn’t say anything negative at all actually. You just stated you were surprised that the story didn’t get more traction. Airbus paid the equivalent of ~$100 million to settle the case with German investigators FYI.

    When United airlines last CEO was forced to resign after a corruption scandal…you still didn’t use the term backwards.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop there. As far as I can tell as a regular reader, the only time you’ve ever used the term backwards in describing an airline is with an African airline, despite numerous, larger, and more wide reaching instances of corruption documented elsewhere. You clearly don’t see it as wrong, and that’s your prerogative…..but keep in mind that not all your readers are western, and we notice the language you use.

  6. @backwards if you want to make the case you’re trying to make, you need to say more about united than corruption [since that alone doesn’t make it the equivalent of air zimbabwe]. you need to show equivalent carriers, and a pattern. so for instance if pakistan international is called backwards [best i can tell from searches i haven’t, though it might be reasonable] and equivalent carriers not. more than one usage, and lack of use in other equivalent circumstances. you can’t get to your goal of smearing me off of one use.

  7. @backwards you’re probably not going to win this one, and you should definitely keep on fighting the good fight. While it’s as clear to me as it was to you that his choice of words was inept at best, @garyleff isn’t a great writer. He has a lot of good, useful information on his blog, but he’s a rainy day libertarian with so-so writing skills, a love of click-baity titles and a tenuous grasp on the economics of airlines. If you decide to keep reading his blog, you’re going to need to learn to recognize which articles to read and which ones to ignore. It’s made my reading life much better.

  8. @Gary My goal wasn’t to smear you, but to bring attention to what I believe was very poor word choice that has historically been used against black people. I also wasn’t trying to make the case that Air Zimbabwe is the equivalent of other carriers. You keep trying to change the goal post to that even after I’ve made it clear that was never the issue. The fact is, whether you like it or not, the only time you’ve referred to an entire airline as “backwards” is with an African airline. Compared to Air Zimbabwe, western airlines have had larger instances of corruption both in monetary terms, in scope, in number of travelers affected, in deaths, and many other metrics…..and yet you’ve never used the word ‘backwards’ to describe one as an entity. I provided instances where you used milder language, and in some cases positive language when discussing corruption in western airlines.Those are the facts.

    What that says about you is up to your readers to decide. I’m done discussing this and trying to explain. Peace to you

Comments are closed.