U.S. airports with the fewest delays

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Using the Department of Transportation’s data for 2011, we’ve ranked the 25 busiest airports in the U.S. by their flight delays.

Flight delays are a drag. Worse than that, they can throw a wrench in multi-leg flight itineraries through missed connections.

Knowing how well airports keep their arrivals and departures on schedule can be really helpful when planning flight routes.

So, using the Department of Transportation’s data for 2011*, we’ve ranked the 25 busiest airports in the U.S.** by their timeliness (see table below).

On average, 85 percent of operations in and out of the 25 airports were on time. We think that’s a fairly respectable number considering all factors, though there is clear room for improvement (we’ll let you know how things change in a year).

At Baltimore, the top ranked of the major 25, nine out of 10 planes landed and took off on time. By contrast, less than three quarters of flights in and out of Newark (ranked 25th) kept to their intended schedule.

Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Charlotte and Boston rounded out the top five performers, while Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Houston and Denver filled out the bottom five spots.

Notably, the latter four had, on average, double the traffic of their better-performing counterparts.

More than 80 percent of flights in and out of the five busiest airport hubs in the country – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago’s O’Hare, Dallas-Forth Worth, Denver and Los Angeles, respectively – arrived on time.

Atlanta, by far the busiest in the country with more than 61,000 operations, posted a reassuringly above average percentage of 86.1 percent – the best of the hubs.

The best performing airport in the whole country in 2011 was Cedar City in Utah – 94.8 percent of its 115 arrivals and departures were on, or ahead of schedule.

At the other end of the scale, Adak Island posted the worst performance. Way out on the far tip of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands (arguably one of the most remote of all U.S. territories), only 44.4 percent of its 18 flights took off or touched down when planned.

Rank

Airport

Total arrivals and departures

Percentage on time

1

BALTIMORE MD (BWI)

16,420

89.7

2

SALT LAKE CITY UT (SLC)

18,487

89.3

3

MINNEAPOLIS MN (MSP)

16,611

89.2

4

CHARLOTTE NC (CLT)

21,570

88.9

5

BOSTON MA (BOS)

16,288

88.4

6

ORLANDO FL (MCO)

20,795

87.8

7

DETROIT MI (DTW)

14,920

87.8

8

SEATTLE WA (SEA)

16,145

87.4

9

CHICAGO IL (MDW)

14,364

86.7

10

LAS VEGAS NV (LAS)

22,483

86.4

11

PHOENIX AZ (PHX)

31,276

86.1

12

ATLANTA GA (ATL)

62,383

86.1

13

CHANTILLY VA (IAD)

12,388

85.7

14

SAN DIEGO CA (SAN)

12,630

85.5

15

NEW YORK NY (JFK)

14,960

85.1

16

PHILADELPHIA PA (PHL)

14,453

84.4

17

CHICAGO IL (ORD)

49,303

83.6

18

NEW YORK NY (LGA)

15,420

83.5

19

LOS ANGELES CA (LAX)

35,093

83.2

20

MIAMI FL (MIA)

14,103

82.9

21

DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX (DFW)

41,445

81.4

22

SAN FRANCISCO CA (SFO)

24,827

80.7

23

HOUSTON TX (IAH)

29,602

78.6

24

DENVER CO (DEN)

39,571

78.1

25

NEWARK NJ (EWR)

18,823

73.4

*Date taken from the U.S. DOT Air Travel Consumer Report February 2012.

**There are 279 major airports in the country.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Image: lrargerich)

U.S. airports with the fewest delays was last modified: January 9th, 2015 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (1167 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.