Say what you want about the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. When it comes to getting butts in seats and into the air on time, it’s second to exactly one.
Every year, the OAG Punctuality League—which sounds like the dullest superhero force imaginable—combs through some 58 million global flight records and honors the airports and airlines with the best on-time performance, or OTP. The league considers a flight on time if it arrives or leaves on schedule, give or take 15 minutes.
Airports are sectioned off into five different size divisions, from “small” to “mega.” MSP, which fits in the “major” category at 20 to 30 million seats departing per year, had an OTP of 83.27 percent. That's actually a step down from last year, when we topped the entire worldwide list at 86 percent. Still, it's enough to put MSP in second place, right after Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, which edged us out at 83.42 percent.
Rounding off the top five this year are Detroit (83.08 percent), Sao Paulo Guarulhos (81.39 percent), and Charlotte (80.70 percent). Points for the most punctual operation in the world go to a small operation in Minsk, which manages an OTP of 93 percent while serving between 2.5 and 5 million customers.
It should come as no surprise we scored well. MSP has been named the best North American airport of its size for three years in a row. Last year, CBS This Morning host Gayle King took time out of her day just to sing the praises of the women’s bathrooms.
Also, did we mention MSP now has a therapy cat on staff? Her name is Stitches, and she’s perfect.
We are very excited to introduce Stitches, the first feline to join our Animal Ambassador crew! Stitches will be available for pets and neck scratches in Terminal 1's mall from 3 to 5 p.m. today. pic.twitter.com/kBuIKFF5EF— MSP Airport (@mspairport) November 8, 2019
Of course, not everyone is entirely charmed by the place.
Hey, MSP Airport, do you accept constructive criticism on the sound your soap makes when it dispenses? pic.twitter.com/nT54YkVOPq— Jesse Nowack (@Nowacking) November 1, 2019
Couldn’t figure out why the bar I just sat down at @ MSP airport was half empty, but post ordering a tequila soda it became clear: there is someone playing comically terrible Nirvana covers here, and I can’t tell if I’m on a hidden camera show or if I’ve walked into actual hell.— Madeline McCarty (@MissMadDawg) December 27, 2019
It is truly miraculous that while waiting in the delta bag drop off line at MSP airport I aged 20 whole years— abbey (@giovannagarzoni) December 29, 2019
Note that none of those complaints is about our gateway to the skies' ability to run on schedule. Meanwhile, if you want to fly on the most punctual airline in our continent, you should spring for Hawaiian Airlines, followed by Delta, Alaska, Spirit, and Southwest.