It might not make or break a trip, but it’s certainly annoying to sit in an airport waiting for a flight that has been delayed. Then again, finding out that your flight has been canceled if you already are at the airport can be a significant source of aggravation.
The situation can even become calamitous if you are traveling with young kids or grandkids, or need to catch a connecting flight.
To give you the information you need to either avoid airports where flight delays or cancelations are common or mentally prepare for the likelihood of a delayed or canceled flight, the staff at the Family Vacation Guide analyzed data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). According to the BTS report, which was compiled from data recorded between July 2019 and July 2021, a flight is considered delayed when it arrives 15 or more minutes later than scheduled.
Based on that research, the Family Vacation Guide put together a list of the U.S. airports where a flight is most likely to be late or canceled.
Let’s take a look at those airports.
1. Newark Liberty International, New Jersey
Newark Liberty airport may be 3 miles from downtown Newark, New Jersey, but it’s also only 9 miles from Manhattan. That location means it’s one of the three major airports serving the New York City metropolitan area.
Surprisingly, almost one out of every four flights arriving at Newark Liberty International is late or canceled. Although 75.71 percent of the flights are on time, a whopping 24.29 percent of the flights are late or canceled, according to Family Vacation Guide’s research.
2. LaGuardia, New York
Another of the three airports serving the New York City metro area, LaGuardia, in Queens, New York City, is just 4 miles from Manhattan. The airport is also a hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
The slightly good news if you’re flying into LaGuardia, which is named after former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, is that flights are on time just over 77 percent of the time. On the other hand, that means nearly 23 percent of the flights scheduled to arrive at LaGuardia are late or canceled, according to the research.
3. Dallas Fort Worth International, Texas
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the largest hub for American Airlines and the primary international airport serving the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. It also was the fourth-busiest U.S. airport by passenger traffic in 2020.
While just over 79 percent of the flights arriving at Dallas Fort Worth International were on time, 20.77 percent of the flights — or one out of every five — were late or canceled, Family Vacation Guide found.
4. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Florida
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of three airports serving the Miami metropolitan area. Indeed, although the airport principally serves the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Boca Raton, Florida, areas, it’s also frequently used by people traveling to or from parts of Miami and areas north of Boca Raton.
While the airport has a marginally better record than that of Dallas Fort Worth, just over 20 percent (20.22 percent) of the flights into the airport were late or canceled. On the other hand, 79.78 percent of the flights were on time, Family Vacation Guide notes.
5. Palm Beach International, Florida
Palm Beach International Airport, in Florida’s Palm Beach County, is another major airport in the Miami metropolitan area. In fact, it’s the third-busiest airport in the metro area.
Family Vacation Guide points out that just over 80 percent of the flights arriving at the airport were on time, and 19.66 percent of the flights were late or canceled.
6. (Tied) Boston Logan International, Massachusetts
Boston Logan International Airport, often called Boston Logan or just Logan, is the largest airport in Massachusetts as well as the entire New England region. Interestingly, the airport, which is bordered on three sides by the Boston Harbor, has the second-smallest footprint among the top 20 major U.S. airports.
While just over 80 percent of the flights arriving at the airport were on time, 19.39 percent of the flights were late or canceled, Family Vacation Guide notes.
6. (Tied) Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, Louisiana
As was the case at Boston Logan, 19.39 percent of the flights arriving at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport were late or canceled, while 80.61 percent of the flights were on time, Family Vacation Guide’s research found.
While there’s a good chance your flight may be delayed, you can also make satisfying use of your time at the airport. Indeed, a recent survey of passenger satisfaction found that New Orleans’ airport was considered the top large U.S. airport, thanks, in part, to its more than 40 food and retail concessions such as Emeril’s Table, owned by famed chef Emeril Lagasse, and a Cafe du Monde restaurant serving beignets and café au lait.
8. Orlando International, Florida
If you’re a fan of Walt Disney World and live out of state, you probably already know that Orlando International Airport is just 6 miles outside of Orlando, in Central Florida. The airport is a major operating base for JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines.
Family Vacation Guide’s research found that 19.22 percent of the flights arriving at the airport were late or canceled while 80.78 percent were on time.
9. San Antonio International, Texas
Located less than 10 miles from downtown San Antonio, San Antonio International Airport is the main international airport serving the area. The two-terminal facility is serviced by 16 domestic and international airline carriers that offer nonstop service to 32 destinations ranging from Orlando, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the U.S. to Cancun, Mexico City, and Monterrey in Mexico.
If you’ll be traveling to San Antonio, keep in mind that 19.03 percent of the flights arriving at the airport were late or canceled while 80.97 percent were on time, according to Family Vacation Guide’s study.
10. (Tied) John F. Kennedy International, New York
Located in Queens, New York City, John F. Kennedy International, or simply JFK, is 16 miles from midtown Manhattan — making it the furthest of the three NYC airports from Manhattan.
Nearly 62 million passengers pass through the airport each year.
If you’ll be flying into or out of JFK, you’ll want to know that 81.21 percent of the flights arriving there were on time while 18.79 percent of the flights were late or canceled.
10. (Tied) San Francisco International, California
While San Francisco International, just 13 miles from downtown San Francisco, offers flights to destinations around the U.S., it also offers nonstop flights to Asia and the South Pacific, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Europe. It’s the largest airport in the San Francisco area and California’s second busiest airport after Los Angeles International Airport.
Family Vacation Guide’s audit found that, as was also the case with JFK, 18.79 percent of the flights arriving at San Francisco International airport were late or canceled and 81.21 percent of the flights were on time.
Be sure to also read the rest of our Airports and Flying coverage, including: