This US Airport Is the Worst Offender When It Comes to Delays

A new study reveals the pros and cons of air travel destinations

Waiting at airports isn't the highlight of anyone's trip.
Artur Tumasjan/Unsplash

Whether it’s a half hour more of standing on line at the gate or a late flight that causes you to miss your connection, no one likes being delayed at the airport. (As I type this, I’m flashing back to several years ago, when a late departure resulted in my having to sprint from one terminal at O’Hare Airport to another one — not a high point in my experience of air travel.) Now, a new study from The Family Vacation Guide analyzed two years’ worth of data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to see which airports had the highest number of late or canceled arrivals.

This will probably not surprise anyone who’s flown into or out of of New York City, but all three of the metro area’s large airports were on the list. John F. Kennedy International Airport was tied for tenth on the list, with 18.79% of its flights late or canceled. LaGuardia placed second, with that figure at 22.52%. And topping the list was Newark Liberty International Airport, with almost a quarter of its flights (24.29%, specifically) delayed or canceled.

That wasn’t the only useful piece of information that the study uncovered. What other takeaways did the study have in store?

Odds are decent that your flight into Hawaii and Georgia will be on time. Daniel K Inouye International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International were 50th and 49th on the list, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul and Salt Lake City.

Airlines make a difference. Three airlines had over 20% of their flights late or canceled — Allegiant Air (27.31%), JetBlue (23.2%) and Frontier (21.24%).

More good news for flights to Hawaii. Of the 13 airlines covered in the study, the one with the highest percentage of flights on time? Hawaiian Airlines, with 89%. So if you fly via Hawaiian Airlines to Daniel K Inouye International Airport, you might have a far less stressful time than someone taking Allegiant into Newark.

The whole study is well worth checking out — and thinking about the next time you’re making air travel plans.


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