Three out of the four worst airports for summer flight delays are in the New York City area, according to a new study by MagnifyMoney (formerly MileCards). The website analyzed Department of Transportation airport arrival data for the 50 busiest U.S. airports between 2008 and 2017.
Six Worst Airports for Summer Delays
- Newark-Liberty International Airport (Newark, NJ): Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 67 percent, down 2.3 percent from its 10-year average
- LaGuardia (New York City): Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 68 percent, up 0.7 percent from its 10-year average
- San Francisco: Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 69.2 percent, up 0.4 percent from its 10-year average
- JFK: Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 70.5 percent, down 0.2 percent from its 10-year average
- Boston Logan: Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 72.5 percent, down 3.5 percent from its 10-year average
- Chicago O’Hare: Rate of on-time arrivals over 10 years: 73.3 percent, up 3.4 percent from its 10-year average
Best Airports for Avoiding Summer Delays
- Best Airports: Honolulu International, a popular origin-and-destination airport, again has the best summertime arrival rate, at 86.7 percent. It was followed closely by Delta’s Salt Lake City hub, at 86 percent. Both airports also have the best year-round arrival rates, at 85.9 percent and 85.7 percent, respectively. Out of all four seasons, Salt Lake City outperformed Honolulu in spring and fall.
- The winner for most-improved: Los Angeles International Airport had the biggest improvement in summer flights landing on time, up 5.5 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to MagnifyMoney’s study. The airport is in the middle of a major construction project that included a major relocation of 21 airlines between May 1 and May 17, 2017, as Delta Air Lines moved from terminals 5 and 6 to terminals 2 and 3. These moves helped cut congestion on the airport’s taxiways and runways, leading to the improvement at LAX.
- Rest of the Best: Other airports making the cut for the fewest summer delays include Detroit Metro, California’s Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oregon’s Portland International, Seattle-Tacoma and Phoenix Sky Harbor.
Here are some other key findings from the report:
- Summer is worse than winter for delays. More than half (52 percent) of airports have more summer than winter delays, although both seasons averaged an on-time rate of 77.1percent for the airports we reviewed.
- Don’t fly in June (if you can help it). June is the worst month for summer airport delays. Three-quarters (76 percent) of airports reviewed had the most summer delays in June. And the overall on-time rate for June was 76 percent, compared with the summer average of 77.1 percent.
- Summer delays are getting worse. Some 54 percent of airports had worse summer arrival rates in 2017 than they did in 2016, with an average on-time rate across all airports of 76.1 percent, versus 76.5 percent.
- Delays are getting worse at the biggest airports. More than half (56 percent) of airports had worse on-time arrival rates in 2017 than they did over the previous 10 years.
- It’s rough on the coasts. The numbers showed that Newark-Liberty, LaGuardia and San Francisco had the worst summer delays of all airports reviewed, while Honolulu, Salt Lake City, and John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA, had the least.
- Expect 3 out of 4 flights to be on time. The average on-time rate across all 50 airports in 2017 was 76.1percent, versus 76.6 percent over the 10-year period between 2007 and 2016.