Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Wed March 11 2015

Stat Guru Nate Silver Launches Flight Tracker

Travel Technology | Rich Thomaselli | March 11, 2015

Stat Guru Nate Silver Launches Flight Tracker

If you’re a political junkie or a sports fan, you already know the name.

Nate Silver is to analytics and statistics what Mark Zuckerberg is to social media. In 2014, Silver’s website,, was folded into ESPN, albeit keeping its separate place on the web, as he writes compelling articles based on the data he finds delving into the worlds of politics, economy, science, life and sports.

The site first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when it correctly predicted the results of the presidential election in 49 of 50 states, along with all 35 U.S. Senate races.

Now Silver is bringing that gift for numbers to the airline industry to help travelers.

Following detailed statistical analysis of millions of flight records, FiveThirtyEight today launched "Which Flight Will Get You There Fastest?", designed to help you find which airlines, airports and individual flights are most likely to get you to your destination on time. Each of the flights is graded fast, medium and slow and assigned an average number of minutes added to a trip. Readers can also find out how all the airlines stack up across all their flights over the past year.

In his introductory piece, Silver noted that according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the 6 million domestic flights last year required an extra 80 million minutes to reach their destinations. At an average of 80 passengers per flight, that works out to an extra 12,000 years in transit.

“Our new fastest flights interactive, which launched Wednesday, may help you spend more time at your destination and less at the Sbarro in Terminal D,” Silver wrote. “It can tell you which airlines perform the best on which routes and which airports you should avoid if you can.”

Silver will update the metrics on the site every month.


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