The Summer’s Worst US Airports for Flight Delays and Cancellations

The Summer’s Worst US Airports for Flight Delays and Cancellations

This summer’s air travel scene is a well-publicized mess, with the ongoing, nationwide spate of flight disruptions looking unlikely to end anytime soon. In order to make your departure time at many busy U.S. airports, you’re also facing longer wait times and lengthier queues than normal.

While seemingly everyone is eager to get away this season after avoiding air travel like the plague for the past two-plus years, flying anywhere right now comes means accepting the heightened risk that your flight gets delayed or canceled.


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According to a CNN analysis of data pulled from flight tracking site FlightAware, U.S. airlines have thus far canceled over 100,000 this year, 30,000 of which have occurred only since Memorial Day weekend’s unofficial kickoff of the 2022 summer travel season.

The increase in passenger traffic approaching pre-pandemic levels is partly to blame, but that’s just part of the equation. Airlines and airports continue to be short-staffed and admit they were unprepared for the onslaught of Americans returning to the skies sooner than they expected.

But, air carriers have also pointed the finger at the federal government, saying that air traffic control facilities are also understaffed and airport operations are suffering because of it. Then, there are the extreme weather incidents that keep cropping up across the country, from winter to spring and into summer.

Regardless of the reasons for the holdups and flight disruptions, at the end of the day, passengers are the ones left holding the proverbial bag. So, the question becomes, which airports are best avoided while the air travel chaos continues?

Young woman at airport checking flight departures
Young woman at airport checking flight departures. (Photo via martin-dm / Getty Images / E+)

Worst U.S. Airports for Flight Cancellations:

CNN’s analysis of FlightAware data during the period from May 28 through July 13 revealed that three New York-area airports fell into the nation’s top 10 worst airports for flight cancellations this summer. Newark and LaGuardia were first and second in terms of the most canceled flights, while NYC’s other major airport, JFK, was ninth.

Top 10 for Cancelled Flights:

RankAirportFlights Impacted
1Newark Liberty International Airport7.9%
2LaGuardia Airport7.4%
3Reagan National Airport (Arlington)5.4%
4Raleigh-Durham International Airport4.3%
5Cleveland Hopkins International Airport3.7%
6Pittsburgh International Airport3.7%
7Philadelphia International Airport3.6%
8Boston Logan International Airport3.6%
9John F. Kennedy International Airport3.5%
10Charlotte Douglas International Airport3.4%

Frustrated traveler at the airport
A frustrated traveler at the airport. (photo via anyaberkut/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Worst U.S. Airports for Flight Delays:

Meanwhile, among the U.S. airports reporting the most flight delays this summer, Chicago’s Midway Airport claimed the top spot. Florida airfields claimed three of the top 10 spots, and two of New York’s major airports also made the list. Other notable cities where flight delays are a serious concern include Baltimore, Denver, Charlotte and Las Vegas.

Top 10 for Delayed Flights:

RankAirportFlights Impacted
1Chicago Midway International Airport36%
2Orlando International Airport33%
3John F. Kennedy International Airport31.1%
4Newark Liberty International Airport30%
5Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport30%
6Miami International Airport28.3%
7Charlotte Douglas International Airport27.8%
8Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport27.2%
9Denver International Airport27.2%
10Harry Reid International Airport (Las Vegas)26.7%

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