2019 Thanksgiving Travel Report: Least Stressful U.S. Airports
Last updated on 03/28/2023
WARWICK, R.I., Nov. 21, 2019 -- To help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to holiday travel, researchers at InsureMyTrip reveal which airports tend to cancel flights more than others and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.
Bad weather is always a concern for the nation's busiest airports. Based on data collected for 2019 thus far, researchers at InsureMyTrip ranked airports prone to flight cancellations and also provide guidance on how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.
- Hawaii airports are considered the least stressful followed by Salt Lake City (SLC) and Atlanta (ATL).
- InsureMyTrip predicts New York's LaGuardia (LGA) will no longer be most stressful for travelers this 2019 Thanksgiving. LGA has improved its cancellation rate this year. The airport previously reported the highest percentage of canceled flights in the country for both 2018 and 2017 (winter storms a factor).
- Chicago airports have endured a rough patch with on-time performance issues. Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) and Chicago Midway International (MDW) are currently experiencing the highest cancellation rates in the country, based on available 2019 data. Those numbers don't yet include last week's snow storms which grounded over 1,000 flights.
- 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 least stressful airports this Thanksgiving, based on flight cancellation rates:
Ranking 2019 — City/Airport
- Honolulu, HI: Daniel K Inouye International (LOWEST)
- Kahului, HI: Kahului Airport
- Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake City International
- Atlanta, GA: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
- Boise, ID: Boise Air Terminal
- Portland, OR: Portland International
- Spokane, WA: Spokane International
- San Juan, PR: Luis Munoz Marin International
- Seattle, WA: Seattle/Tacoma International
- Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis-St Paul International
- Detroit, MI: Detroit Metro Wayne County
- Anchorage, AK: Ted Stevens Anchorage International
- Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles International
- Santa Ana, CA: John Wayne Airport-Orange County
- Fort Myers, FL: Southwest Florida International
- Miami, FL: Miami International
- Las Vegas, NV: McCarran International
- Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque International Sunport
- Tucson, AZ: Tucson International
- Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Sky Harbor International
- Sacramento, CA: Sacramento International
- Fort Lauderdale, FL: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
- Reno, NV: Reno/Tahoe International
- Austin, TX: Austin - Bergstrom International
- San Antonio, TX: San Antonio International
- Tampa, FL: Tampa International
- Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston
- Ontario, CA: Ontario International
- San Diego, CA: San Diego International
- New York, NY: John F. Kennedy International
- Washington, DC: Washington Dulles International
- San Jose, CA: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International
- Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International
- Raleigh/Durham, NC: Raleigh-Durham International
- Nashville, TN: Nashville International
- West Palm Beach/Palm Beach, FL: Palm Beach International
- Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglas International
- Knoxville, TN: McGhee Tyson
- Orlando, FL: Orlando International
- Louisville, KY: Louisville Muhammad Ali International
- Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh International
- Denver, CO: Denver International
- New Orleans, LA: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
- Oakland, CA: Metropolitan Oakland International
- Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville International
- Hartford, CT: Bradley International
- Omaha, NE: Eppley Airfield
- Oklahoma City, OK: Will Rogers World
- Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis International
- Columbus, OH: John Glenn Columbus International
- Boston, MA: Logan International
- Kansas City, MO: Kansas City International
- Memphis, TN: Memphis International
- San Francisco, CA: San Francisco International
- Richmond, VA: Richmond International
- Birmingham, AL: Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International
- Cleveland, OH: Cleveland-Hopkins International
- St. Louis, MO: St Louis Lambert International
- Providence, RI: Theodore Francis Green State
- Milwaukee, WI: General Mitchell International
- Charleston, SC: Charleston AFB/International
- Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia International
- Washington, DC: Ronald Reagan Washington National
- Baltimore, MD: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
- Dallas/Fort Worth, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth International
- Norfolk, VA: Norfolk International
- Grand Rapids, MI: Gerald R. Ford International
- New York, NY: LaGuardia
- Dallas, TX: Dallas Love Field
- Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Niagara International
- Burbank, CA: Bob Hope
- Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International
- Houston, TX: William P Hobby
- Chicago, IL: Chicago O'Hare International
- Chicago, IL: Chicago Midway International (HIGHEST)
This list contains the data for non-stop domestic flights by major air carriers collected in 2019 thus far by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and analyzed by InsureMyTrip.
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.
To schedule an interview with an expert or to request specific research data on U.S. airport statistics, please contact [email protected]
Rankings were based on the flight cancellation rate per airport. Airports on the list also reported 14,000 or more scheduled flights for 2019 thus far. Researchers also noted other factors, like hurricanes and winter storms, led some airports to report a high number of canceled flights earlier in the year.
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