The Best and Worst U.S. Airports for Summer Flight Delays

U.S. airports have struggled to accommodate the swell of passengers in recent years, resulting in crowded tarmacs and lengthy waits.

As we inch nearer to the summer travel season, you might expect delays to let up a bit with the weather, but a new report indicates that in fact, the opposite is true.

Of the 50 busiest airports in the U.S., more than 52% of airports were found to have more delays in summer than any other season, according to the report by MagnifyMoney. And it’s only getting worse. Last summer’s on-time arrival rates were the lowest than in the previous 10 years.

Of course, even the most infrequent flyer knows that when it comes to flight delays, some airports are worse than others. You may want to pack a little something extra to read if departing from these 10 most delayed airports this summer:

  1. Newark-Liberty (EWR) with a 67% rate of on-time arrivals
  2. LaGuardia (LGA) with a 68% rate of on-time arrivals
  3. San Francisco (SFO) with a 69.2% rate of on-time arrivals
  4. John F. Kennedy (JFK) with a 70.5% rate of on-time arrivals
  5. Boston Logan (BOS) with a 72.5% rate of on-time arrivals
  6. Chicago O’Hare (ORD) with a 73.3% rate of on-time arrivals
  7. Miami (MIA) with a 74.4% rate of on-time arrivals
  8. Washington D.C. National (DCA) 74.4% rate of on-time arrivals
  9. Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 74.6% rate of on-time arrivals
  10. Philadelphia (PHL) 74.6% rate of on-time arrivals

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that’s flown to/from New York that its major airports rank as highly as they do. Hold-ups at New York airports can quickly ripple across the network, causing nationwide delays.

As in winter, weather can play just as big a factor in summer, with hurricane season set to begin June 1.

Meanwhile, on the list of airports with the best on-time performance, Honolulu International (HNL) predictably lands the top spot, followed by Salt Lake City (SLC). Both of these airports maintain the best overall on-time performance throughout the the entire year. The full list or airports with the fewest delays includes:

  1. Honolulu (HNL) with an 86.7% rate of on-time arrivals
  2. Salt Lake City (SLC) with an 86% rate of on-time arrivals
  3. Orange County (SNA) with an 82% rate of on-time arrivals
  4. Phoenix (PHX) with an 81.9% rate of on-time arrivals
  5. Seattle (SEA) with an 81.5% rate of on-time arrivals
  6. Portland (PDX) with an 81.4% rate of on-time arrivals
  7. Minneapolis (MSP) with an 81.1% rate of on-time arrivals
  8. San Jose (SJC) with an 80.5% rate of on-time arrivals
  9. Detroit (DTW) with an 80.3% rate of on-time arrivals
  10. Las Vegas (LAS) with a 79.6% rate of on-time arrivals

If your travel plans are affected by delays or cancellations, there are ways to salvage the trip, or at least recover your money, even if your ticket is nonrefundable. Travel insurance is always handy in these situations, but often travelers don’t think to buy it until it’s too late.

Additionally, your credit card may provide some protection against delays and cancellations, with reimbursements for meals and accommodations.

When it looks like you may be stuck indefinitely, consider splurging on a one-day lounge pass. Rebooking is probably a little less hectic, and won't have to wrestle anyone over access to the electrical outlet.

Above image by Mizkit via Shutterstock

Comments