These Are the Worst Airports and Airlines for Delays

Keep this in mind when booking holiday travel...

Young woman traveler looking at flight information
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Flight delays, unfortunately, are a far too common travel phenomenon, whether due to weather, mechanical problems, or a snowball effect of delayed flights ahead of yours. As it turns out, not all airports and airlines are made equal when it comes to delays—some are way worse than others.

The Family Vacation Guide crunched data provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that reports on on-time arrivals, to find out which of the country's 50 busiest airports and which U.S.–based airlines have had the worst delay record over the past two years. For this analysis, delayed flights arrive at least 15 minutes later than their scheduled times.

Here's what they found out.

Airports with the Highest Likelihood of Delays

The percentage shown indicates the percentage of arriving late or canceled flights between July 2019 and July 2021.

  1. Newark Liberty International (EWR), New Jersey: 24.29%
  2. LaGuardia Aiport (LGA), New York: 22.52%
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW), Texas: 20.77%
  4. Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International (FLL), Florida: 20.22%
  5. Palm Beach International (PBI), Florida: 19.66%

Airports with the Lowest Likelihood of Delays

The percentage shown indicates the percentage of arriving late or canceled flights between July 2019 and July 2021.

  1. Daniel K. Inouye International (HNL), Hawaii: 11.69%
  2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), Georgia: 12.68%
  3. Minneapolis St. Paul International (MSP), Minnesota: 12.73%
  4. Salt Lake City International (SLC), Utah: 12.78%
  5. Detroit Metro Wayne County (DTW), Michigan: 13.10%

Airlines with the Most Delays

The percentage shown indicates the percentage of arriving flights that were late or canceled between July 2019 and July 2021.

  1. Allegiant Air: 27.31%
  2. JetBlue Airways: 23.20%
  3. Frontier Airlines: 21.24%
  4. Envoy Air: 19.52%
  5. United Airlines: 18.60%
  6. American Airlines: 18.55%
  7. Spirit Airlines: 17.96%
  8. Southwest Airlines: 16.97%
  9. Alaska Airlines: 16.82%
  10. SkyWest Airlines: 15.99%
  11. Republic Airways: 15.73%
  12. Delta Airlines: 13.31%
  13. Hawaiian Airlines: 11%

The Takeaway

All airports and all airlines face delays, and they can happen pretty much anytime, anywhere. But suppose you're going to play your odds. In that case, we recommend booking flights with Delta or Hawaiian for the least likelihood of encountering a delay—the five airports with the lowest frequency of delays are all Delta or Hawaiian hubs.

To see more results and learn about The Family Vacation Guide's methodology, head over here.

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