During one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, it’s always fun to talk about flight delays (kidding!) But, since it was such a hot topic a few days ago with Atlanta’s Heartsfield-Jackson Airport shutting down for 11 hours due to a fire (if you missed news of the shut-down, you can read all about it here) I thought I’d share some data.

It might be one of the most delayed, but it’s also one of the most beautiful at Christmas! We love O’Hare!

Of course, airport delays happen all over the world and for various reasons. On average, close to 1/4 of all flights are delayed. Interestingly enough, flights are considered “on time” when they arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. When you take into account the fact that almost all airlines pad their flight time to account for taxiing cues, gate-delays, and other things that can affect the arrival time. So, in other words, we can assume that the statistic should be higher!

According to the Bureau of Transportation statistics- there were roughly 312,595 weather delayed arrivals in a one-year snapshot period. Using statistics from that same year, The Weather Channel ranked the 10 most weather-delayed airports in the US. You might be surprised at the list!

Ranked from best (of the worst) to worst:

10. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

9. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

8. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

7. JFK International Airport (JFK)

6. George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH)

5. Denver International Airport (DEN)

4. New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

2. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

1. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

A snow storm led to a 2 hour delay while we waited for our plane to be de-iced. It’s easy to get frustrated, but we are thankful for airport officials keeping us safe!

The good news- there are also airports that consistently record low numbers of delays. Coming in at #1: Salt Lake City! And crazy enough, the busiest airport in the world- Atlanta’s Heartsfield Jackson came in at second best. I guess time will tell if the airport shutdown last Sunday will affect their next ranking.

Airports are not alone in their delay rankings, airlines also get them too. The top US airlines with the fewest delays are: Hawaiian, Delta, Alaska, Virgin America and United.

If you find yourself delayed this holiday season- you may want to check out my post:

Ideas For Airport Entertainment For Kids 

You might also enjoy:

10 Best Airports in US For Kids

5 Great Toddler Toys For Airline Travel

Here are a few resources for the statistics sited in this post: Weather Delays and Worst Airports For Flight Delays.

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