8 worst US airports for flight delays

While thanksgiving travel troubles will be adding insult to injury, here are the worst airports for flight delays year-round

During this busiest travel season of the year, travelers were warned about packed flights and TSA delays. The weather heading into Thanksgiving may also slow down flights. 

However, year-round, a handful of airports consistently rank highest for flight delays.

FOX Weather analyzed flight data from August 2018 to August 2021. 

Here are the eight airports which had the highest percentage of flights delayed by at least 15 minutes:

  1. Newark Liberty International Airport -- 28.26%
  2. LaGuardia Airport– 25.60%
  3. San Francisco International Airport – 22.76%
  4. Boston Logan International Airport– 22.45%
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport – 22.44%
  6. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – 21.34%
  7. Orlando International Airport – 20.64%
  8. John F. Kennedy International Airport – 20.60%

Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, topped our airport list of flight delays with more than a quarter of flights being delayed. Weather and air traffic delays accounted for 20% of the delays. Spring and summer months were only slightly more delayed than the winter months.

The New York metropolitan airports have deicing delays in winter. Takeoffs and landings must be spaced further apart during spring and summer rainstorms due to lowered visibility.

Small delays per flight add up quickly given the amount of traffic that these airports handle. Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy handled 8% of all flights for the 30 top airports for this time period.

San Francisco fog accounted for many of San Francisco International’s delays.

USE FOX WEATHER’S LONG-RANGE PLANNER TO KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TRAVEL DESTINATION

Florida's airports have afternoon thunderstorms in the Spring and Summer. Nearly 40% of the delayed time is waiting for delayed aircraft from other airports.

Flight delays at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport totaled 8,055 days over the three-year period. Almost 40% of the time was spent waiting for late-arriving aircraft and 30% on air carrier delays. 

All Federal Aviation Administration stats were compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the past three years of available data (August 2018 – August 2021) which includes pre-pandemic and pandemic years.  The FAA considers a flight delayed if it is 15 minutes later than its scheduled time.

How the top 30 US airports fared as a whole

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the U.S.’s 30 major airports were on time an average of 81% of the time in the past three years (August 2018 – August 2021).

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