When there is a need to catch the flight, there is an inevitable check on the flight stats in order to determine whether the flight is on time or is delayed. With this information, you get the help in planning your movement to the airport so that you do not waste time idling on the airport, in case the flight is delayed. While you can always check the flight status anytime before the arrival time of the aircraft, it might not be possible for you to book flight tickets with any airline. While people do hunt for the cheap flight tickets, it is certainly not the price element which dictates their ticket buying behaviour.
In fact, a lot more importance is attached to the track record of flying on schedule. The people certainly do not want to be in a situation where they have the tickets for the cheapest flights but are not sure at all about the status of flight, i.e. whether it will get delayed or cancelled or not. For this reason, besides spending time on finding the cheapest deals, the people also prefer to look into the track record of flying as per schedule and being punctual. While the news items doing round are one of the most common methods of ascertaining the on-time performance, reports from the civil aviation regulator can also mention the statistics of the past few years for the punctuality record of a particular airline. These two are credible sources of information, though you can also get to know about the on-time record from the forums and other online resources.