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Best and worst airports with flight delays

by Staff

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Nothing can ruin a spring break getaway faster than encountering a travel disruption at the airport.

Half of all travelers with spring break plans are “concerned” about disruptions impacting their travel plans, according to travel platform Hopper’s 2024 Spring Break Travel Outlook

The report said last year saw a higher-than-average volume of disruptions. During spring break, 20.1% of flights were delayed, compared to 18.4% throughout 2023.

For smooth travels, aGamble analyzed flight departure data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics to see which airports had the most disruptions during March and April 2023 – the usual spring break period. Disruptions included delays, cancellations and diversions. 

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“With spring break officially kicking off, airports are expected to be crowded throughout the coming weeks, and travelers may face flight disruptions depending on their departure location,” Collin Czarnecki, a researcher for aGamble, told USA TODAY in an email.

“It might not be surprising that a majority of airports with the most flight disruptions are located in spring break destination hotspots such as Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Miami,” Czarnecki said. On the other hand, the airports with the best on-time departures during the spring break period last year were Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  and Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon.

Czarnecki also added that the second and third week of March will be the busiest at security checkpoints, so be sure to arrive at the airport with ample time. 

The worst airports for spring break travel

  1. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – 34.87% of flights delayed, 4.63% canceled 
  2. Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev. – 31.44% of flights delayed, 1.47% canceled 
  3. Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla. – 31.06% of flights delayed, 1.52% canceled 
  4. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Md. – 31.26% flights delayed, 1.22% canceled 
  5. Chicago Midway International Airport in Chicago, Ill. – 29.04% of flights delayed, 1.32% canceled
  6. Miami International Airport in Miami, Fla. – 29.22% of flights delayed, 0.88% canceled 
  7. Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. – 25.81% of flights delayed, 2.53% canceled
  8. Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas – 25.11% of flights delayed, 2.49% canceled
  9. Denver International Airport in Denver, Colo. – 26.51% of flights delayed, 1.04% canceled
  10. John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, N.Y. – 25.06% of flights delayed, 2.23% canceled

The best airports for spring break travel

  1. Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh, Penn. – 83.8% on-time flight departures
  2. Portland International Airport in Portland, Ore. – 83.2% on-time flight departures
  3. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio – 82.2% on-time flight departures
  4. Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. – 82% on-time flight departures
  5. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. – 81.9% on-time flight departures
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minn. – 81.8% on-time flight departures
  7. Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Ind. – 81.7% on-time flight departures
  8. Seattle/Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Was. – 81.6% on-time flight departures
  9. Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio – 81.3% on-time flight departures
  10. Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Penn. – 80.9% on-time flight departures

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected].

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