Let’s face it: Nobody wants to learn that their flight has been delayed or canceled. Plus, if you’re traveling with young kids or grandkids who are impatient, bored, or both, news of a flight delay or cancelation can seem like a gut punch.
To help you somewhat prevent that situation, the staff at the Family Vacation Guide began researching flight information to determine which U.S. airports are least likely to experience flights that are delayed or canceled so may be able to plan a trip accordingly.
To do that, 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 arrived 15 or more minutes later than the schedule.
Based on that research, the Family Vacation Guide compiled a list of the U.S. airports where a flight is least likely to be delayed or canceled.
Let’s take a look at those airports.
1. Daniel K. Inouye International, Hawaii
Formerly known as Honolulu International Airport, Daniel K. Inouye International was renamed in honor of U.S. Senator and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel K. Inouye. Located just 3 miles from Honolulu on Oahu in Hawaii, the airport serves numerous destinations in North America, Asia, and Oceania – and, of course, it is the principal hub of Hawaiian Airlines.
The airport has another important distinction: According to Family Vacation Guide’s research, it is the U.S. airport with the least number of delayed or canceled flights. Indeed, just 11.69 percent of flights bound for the airport were delayed or canceled. In other words, slightly more than 88 percent of the airport’s flights were on time.
2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Georgia
If you travel often, chances are you’re already familiar with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, located just 7 miles from downtown Atlanta. The airport, named after former Atlanta mayors William B. Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson, is the primary hub of Delta Air Lines. It is the busiest airport in the United States.
The airport also has the second-fewest number of delayed or canceled flights. Family Vacation Guide reports that 12.68 percent of its flights were delayed while just over 87 percent of the flights were on time.
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Minnesota
If you aren’t familiar with Minneapolis-St. Paul International, you may be surprised to learn the airport isn’t actually in either Minneapolis or Saint Paul. It is, however, about 10 miles from both cities’ downtown areas. MSP, as it’s known, is a major hub for Delta Airlines and also the country’s 17th busiest travel hub – serving 34 million passengers each year.
If you’re flying into or out of MSP, you’ll be happy to know that only 12.73 of its flights were canceled or delayed. Conversely, 87.27 percent of the flights were on time, Family Vacation Guide notes.
4. Salt Lake City International, Utah
Salt Lake City International, which is only 5 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, is another Delta hub. With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that the airport is a gateway to what’s called the Intermountain West as well as the West Coast. Then again, more than 370 flights leave the airport every day on their way to nearly 100 nonstop destinations.
The airport also boasts a high on-time record for flights. Family Vacation Guide’s research found that 12.78 percent of the airport’s flights were delayed or canceled, while just over 87 percent were on time.
5. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Michigan
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which is 18 miles from downtown Detroit, is another Delta hub and a focus city for Spirit Airlines. More than 1,100 flights fly into or out of the airport each day. What’s more, the airport offers nonstop passenger flights to 122 destinations in 12 countries.
Only 13 percent of those flights were delayed or canceled while just shy of 87 percent of the flights were on time, according to Family Vacation Guide’s research.
6. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, California
The San Jose International Airport was renamed Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International after former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Member of Congress, and Mayor of San Jose Norman Mineta, who was known for his work in transportation – including aviation. The airport, just 3 miles from downtown San Jose, is the San Francisco Bay area’s second-busiest airport after San Francisco International.
Despite its busyness, only a little over 14 percent of the airport’s flights were delayed or canceled. On the other hand, 85.7 percent of the flights were on time, Family Vacation Guide explains.
7. Portland International, Oregon
Portland’s airport, which is 12 miles from the city’s downtown area, is served by 13 international and domestic airlines. While 60 U.S. airports offer nonstop flights to Portland International, you can also fly nonstop to Portland from Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Iceland.
If you’re planning to fly into Portland International, you’ll be pleased to know that just over 85 percent of those flights were on time, while 14.77 percent of the flights were delayed or canceled, Family Vacation Guide explains.
8. John Wayne Airport, California
The airport formerly known as Orange County Airport was renamed in 1979 after The Duke died in neighboring Newport Beach. A nine-foot statue of John Wayne even greets travelers outside the main terminal. The airport, which is owned and operated by Orange County, is the second-busiest airport in the greater Los Angeles area after, of course, Los Angeles Airport. The top three airlines serving the airport based on passenger volume are Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
Despite its high passenger volume, less than 15 percent of the flights arriving at John Wayne Airport were delayed or canceled, according to Family Vacation Guide’s research. Conversely, 85.12 percent of the flights were one time.
9. Sacramento International, California
If you’re a wine lover and have visited California’s wine country, you’re probably already familiar with Sacramento International. Then again, the airport is also a gateway for a trip to Yosemite National Park or Lake Tahoe. The airport, which is 10 miles from downtown Sacramento, California’s state capital, offers flights to most large continental U.S. airports as well as some in Canada and Mexico.
Nearly 85 percent of the flights at Sacramento International were on time, Family Vacation Guide reports. Marginally more than 15 percent (15.05) of the flights were delayed or canceled.
10. Metropolitan Oakland International, California
San Francisco International may be the larger airport, but on the other side of San Francisco Bay, you’ll find Oakland International, which offers passenger flights within the U.S., as well as to Mexico and Azores. Located 10 miles from downtown Oakland and just 25 minutes from downtown San Francisco, the airport is California’s fourth-largest airport – used by more than 13 million passengers each year.
Just under 85 percent (84.0) of the airport’s flights were on time, while 15.1 percent of the flights were delayed or canceled, according to Family Vacation Guide’s research.
Be sure to also read the rest of our Airports and Flying coverage, including