Traveling over the holidays is usually no fun for many people since airports and planes are packed, there are a lot of infrequent travelers and families that slow down the lines and boarding, stress levels are high and many people are sick since its cold, flu and Covid season. That’s why most road warriors avoid holiday travels. RELATED: Why You Should Add These 8 Health Items to Your Toiletry Bag When You Travel
If you are traveling over the holidays, it’s at least good to know which airports you should avoid flying from, to or through to minimize the travel chaos. Significant flight delays or worse, cancellations, suck anytime of year but during the holidays, it’s much worse. And if you’re towing tired, cranky toddlers around, forget about it.
Thanks to USA Today for taking the time to analyze government data to figure out the 10 airports with the most flight cancellations around the holidays. According to their report, they “analyzed data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics from Dec. 15 through Jan. 7 every year from 2015 through 2020. Data covered the 100 airports with the most domestic flights in the 2019-20 holiday season; only domestic flights were included.”
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Unfortunately, Aspen Airport has won the dubious title. According to USA Today: “Travelers are most likely to run into issues flying into or out of Aspen, Colorado, where on average about 42% of flights in that window had departure delays of 15 minutes or more, and about 11% that were canceled.”
Here are the top 10 airports with the most flight cancellations around the holidays:
1. Aspen, Colorado.: Aspen Pitkin County Sardy Field
2. Charleston, South Carolina: Charleston AFB/International Airport
3. Norfolk, Virginia: Norfolk International Airport
4. Savannah, Georgia: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
5. Greensboro/High Point, North Carolina: Piedmont Triad International Airport
6. Chicago: Chicago Midway International Airport
7. Newark, New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport
8. New York: LaGuardia International Airport
9. Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport
10. Rochester, N: Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport
I’m not too surprised that Aspen ranked at the top since the two times I’ve flown in or out of there, my flight was either delayed or cancelled because of bad weather. I remember having to scramble to rent a car to drive four hours or so to Denver to make my connection. But since not many people are flying to “Billionaire Mountain” over the holidays, you probably want to know how the biggest US airports ranked with cancellations.
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Here’s how the biggest US airports ranked according to USA Today:
1. Newark Liberty International Airport: #7, 2.9% of flights canceled on average
2. New York LaGuardia International Airport: #8, 2.9% of flights canceled on average
3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: #14, 2.4% of flights canceled on average
4. San Francisco International Airport: #16, 2.4% of flights canceled on average
5. Boston Logan International Airport: #19, 2.3% of flights canceled on average
6. Chicago O’Hare International Airport: #23, 2.2% of flights canceled on average
7. New York John F. Kennedy International Airport: #33, 1.9% of flights canceled on average
8. Denver International Airport: #41, 1.8% of flights canceled on average
9. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: #44, 1.7% of flights canceled on average
10. Philadelphia International Airport: #50, 1.6% of flights canceled on average
For the rest of the airports and their analysis, see their website.
The only real surprise for me was Fort Lauderdale and not Miami. How about you?
I realize this information might be too late since most people have booked their holiday flights so keep this in your bookmarks for next year and if you are going through one of these airports, it’s a good reminder to have a solid back-up plan in place.
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