2018 Holiday Travel Report: Most Stressful U.S. Airports

Last updated on 09/09/2020

WARWICK, R.I., Dec. 13, 2018 -- To help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to holiday travel, researchers at InsureMyTrip reveal which airports to possibly avoid and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

Summary

  • InsureMyTrip predicts New York's LaGuardia (LGA) will be most stressful for travelers this Christmas. LGA reports the highest percentage of canceled flights (4.9%) so far this year.
  • Flights scheduled for departure between 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm are more susceptible to delays and cancellations.
  • If a flight is canceled, most airlines will rebook travelers on the next available flight at no additional charge. However, airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight.

This is the list of the most stressful airports this Christmas, based on flight cancellation rates:

Rank

Code

Airport

1

LGA

New York, NY: LaGuardia (Worst)

2

ORF

Norfolk, VA: Norfolk International

3

CHS

Charleston, SC: Charleston AFB/International

4

ROC

Rochester, NY: Greater Rochester International

5

PHL

Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia International

6

EWR

Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International

7

PVD

Providence, RI: Theodore Francis Green

8

DCA

Washington, DC: Ronald Reagan Washington National

9

BUF

Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Niagara International

10

JFK

New York, NY: John F. Kennedy International

11

BOS

Boston, MA: Logan International

12

BDL

Hartford, CT: Bradley International

13

RDU

Raleigh/Durham, NC: Raleigh-Durham International

14

RIC

Richmond, VA: Richmond International

15

CLT

Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglas International

16

MDW

Chicago, IL: Chicago Midway International

17

BWI

Baltimore, MD: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall

18

GRR

Grand Rapids, MI: Gerald R. Ford International

19

ORD

Chicago, IL: Chicago O'Hare International

20

CLE

Cleveland, OH: Cleveland-Hopkins International

21

CMH

Columbus, OH: John Glenn Columbus International

22

PIT

Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh International

23

SDF

Louisville, KY: Louisville International-Standiford Field

24

CVG

Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International

25

JAX

Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville International

26

PBI

West Palm Beach/Palm Beach, FL: Palm Beach International

27

BHM

Birmingham, AL: Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International

28

MKE

Milwaukee, WI: General Mitchell International

29

IAD

Washington, DC: Washington Dulles International

30

IND

Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis International

31

MEM

Memphis, TN: Memphis International

32

DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth International

33

BNA

Nashville, TN: Nashville International

34

BUR

Burbank, CA: Bob Hope

35

STL

St. Louis, MO: St Louis Lambert International

36

HOU

Houston, TX: William P Hobby

37

OMA

Omaha, NE: Eppley Airfield

38

RSW

Fort Myers, FL: Southwest Florida International

39

DAL

Dallas, TX: Dallas Love Field

40

MCI

Kansas City, MO: Kansas City International

41

SFO

San Francisco, CA: San Francisco International

42

MSY

New Orleans, LA: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International

43

OKC

Oklahoma City, OK: Will Rogers World

44

TPA

Tampa, FL: Tampa International

45

MCO

Orlando, FL: Orlando International

46

OAK

Oakland, CA: Metropolitan Oakland International

47

MIA

Miami, FL: Miami International

48

MSP

Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis-St Paul International

49

FLL

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International

50

DTW

Detroit, MI: Detroit Metro Wayne County

51

AUS

Austin, TX: Austin - Bergstrom International

52

ANC

Anchorage, AK: Ted Stevens Anchorage International

53

IAH

Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston

54

SAT

San Antonio, TX: San Antonio International

55

SJU

San Juan, PR: Luis Munoz Marin International

56

SAN

San Diego, CA: San Diego International

57

LAX

Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles International

58

ABQ

Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque International Sunport

59

DEN

Denver, CO: Denver International

60

TUS

Tucson, AZ: Tucson International

61

SJC

San Jose, CA: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International

62

PHX

Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Sky Harbor International

63

LAS

Las Vegas, NV: McCarran International

64

HNL

Honolulu, HI: Daniel K Inouye International

65

ATL

Atlanta, GA: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International

66

ONT

Ontario, CA: Ontario International

67

GEG

Spokane, WA: Spokane International

68

SNA

Santa Ana, CA: John Wayne Airport-Orange County

69

RNO

Reno, NV: Reno/Tahoe International

70

SMF

Sacramento, CA: Sacramento International

71

PDX

Portland, OR: Portland International

72

OGG

Kahului, HI: Kahului Airport

73

SEA

Seattle, WA: Seattle/Tacoma International

74

BOI

Boise, ID: Boise Air Terminal

75

SLC

Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake City International

Data Source: This table contains data for non-stop domestic flights by major air carriers collected in 2018 thus far by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Flight Cancellation Policies

Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.

Airlines are also not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight, such as prepaid, non-refundable:

  • Hotel room
  • All-inclusive vacation or resort
  • A cruise
  • A tour or safari
  • Concert or entertainment tickets

Travelers concerned about protecting any trip expenses should buy travel insurance.

Dealing With Flight Delays

Each airline has its own flight delay policy for passengers waiting at the airport; there are no federal requirements. Travelers concerned about delays should be aware of the following:

  • Generally, early departures are less likely to be delayed.
  • Book a non-stop flight (no stops).
  • When booking, ask the airline about the on-time performance percentage for an individual flight.
  • Closer to departure, check real-time airport data. This will provide timely information on weather concerns or air traffic delays.
  • Be aware of "creeping delays." This is when an airline continues to push back a departure time it can sometimes be extended for hours or lead to a cancellation.
  • If a flight is delayed, try to learn the reason why to better gauge if the flight is in jeopardy of being canceled. Reasons for delays may include maintenance, fueling, crew issues, weather, previous flight with the same aircraft arrived late, causing the present flight to depart late, or security issues.
  • Some flights will be delayed on the tarmac before or after take-off. As a general rule, DOT prohibits flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours.

Passengers with departing flights at busier airports should consider travel insurance with robust travel delay benefits.

Contact:
[email protected]

Methodology

Rankings were based on the flight cancellation rate per airport. Airports on the list also reported 13,000 or more scheduled flights for 2018 thus far. Researchers also noted other factors, like hurricanes, led some airports to report a high number of canceled flights earlier in the year.

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SOURCE InsureMyTrip