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Major airports with the longest departure delays

TravelPerk ranked 25 of the biggest U.S. airports by their share of departure flight delays, using Department of Transportation data.

Posted

Young man with backpack in airport near flight status screen.

Sergey Furtaev // Shutterstock

About 1 in 5 passengers who flew in the U.S. this year have had to deal with the misfortune of their flight leaving late. Even though airlines publish their schedules, they don't guarantee them.

These days, flight delays are trending higher and higher, according to statistics from the Department of Transportation. In 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average share of departure delays for flights in the U.S. was 19% and 19.5%, respectively. In 2022 and 2023 (as of August), departure delays were up to 21.5% and 22%, the highest average in nearly a decade.

Unlike the more generous regulations in the European Union, U.S. carriers are not obligated to compensate passengers for flight delays. However, each company has its own policy, so travelers may be able to get something in exchange for the headache of a delay. It's always advisable to check with the airline to see if they will make accommodations, such as rebooking on a different flight or providing meal vouchers.

Since the federal government doesn't require airlines to provide passengers with delay protections, it's up to the flying public to ensure a delayed flight doesn't ruin plans. When traveling for an immovable event like a wedding or cruise, for example, consider leaving a day in advance to add a buffer for any potential delays. Some travel insurance policies also compensate for long delays and could provide reimbursements for food, hotels, and more.

It's wise to be particularly cautious when flying from certain U.S. airports that report more flight delays across all U.S. airlines than others. TravelPerk explored 25 of the biggest airports in the country and ranked them according to the share of departure flights that experience delays, using data from the Department of Transportation from September 2022 to August 2023.

Continue reading to find out if your nearest airport is prone to pushing back flight times.

#25. Minneapolis-St Paul International

Moving walkway with people in MSP airport.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

- City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 120,552
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 16.7%
- Median minutes delayed: 16
- Most common destinations: DEN, ORD, ATL

#24. Salt Lake City International

Delta Airlines plane at SLC airport boarding passengers.

ZikG // Shutterstock

- City: Salt Lake City, Utah
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 108,272
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 17.6%
- Median minutes delayed: 14
- Most common destinations: DEN, PHX, LAX

#23. Detroit Metro Wayne County

The McNamara Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Metro Airport.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- City: Detroit, Michigan
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 124,715
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 17.8%
- Median minutes delayed: 18
- Most common destinations: ATL, ORD, LGA

#22. Ronald Reagan Washington National

United States Capitol and Reagan National Airport on a summer day.

Douglas Litchfield // Shutterstock

- City: Washington, D.C.
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 143,183
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 18.1%
- Median minutes delayed: 19
- Most common destinations: BOS, ATL, LGA

#21. Seattle/Tacoma International

Interior of the The Sea-Tac Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- City: Seattle, Washington
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 175,949
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 18.2%
- Median minutes delayed: 13
- Most common destinations: PDX, ANC, LAX

#20. Philadelphia International

Airplanes from American Airlines at the Philadelphia International Airport.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 98,234
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 18.4%
- Median minutes delayed: 20
- Most common destinations: MCO, ATL, BOS

#19. Los Angeles International

Aerial view of Los Angeles International Airport with its streets, entrances and exits.

Michael Rosebrock // Shutterstock

- City: Los Angeles, California
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 192,726
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 19.7%
- Median minutes delayed: 16
- Most common destinations: SFO, LAS, JFK

#18. San Francisco International

Exterior view of San Francisco International Airport.

JHVEPhoto // Shutterstock

- City: San Francisco, California
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 134,948
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 20.4%
- Median minutes delayed: 15
- Most common destinations: LAX, JFK, SEA

#17. LaGuardia

Welcome to New York City sign at a Delta gate in terminal C at Laguardia Airport.

Scott Heaney // Shutterstock

- City: New York, New York
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 168,772
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 20.5%
- Median minutes delayed: 23
- Most common destinations: ORD, BOS, ATL

#16. Chicago O'Hare International

Chicago O

Coffee Mate // Shutterstock

- City: Chicago, Illinois
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 277,274
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 20.7%
- Median minutes delayed: 18
- Most common destinations: LGA, LAX, DCA

#15. Charlotte Douglas International

Busy travelers in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

LisaCarter // Shutterstock

- City: Charlotte, North Carolina
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 206,146
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 20.9%
- Median minutes delayed: 19
- Most common destinations: MCO, LGA, ATL

#14. Nashville International

People in motion in the baggage claim area at Nashville International Airport.

Scott Heaney // Shutterstock

- City: Nashville, Tennessee
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 94,327
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 21.6%
- Median minutes delayed: 15
- Most common destinations: LGA, ORD, CLT

#13. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International

Various aircraft taxiing for departure at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Austin Deppe // Shutterstock

- City: Atlanta, Georgia
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 330,268
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 22.0%
- Median minutes delayed: 17
- Most common destinations: MCO, LGA, FLL

#12. Phoenix Sky Harbor International

Ground operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Kate Scott // Shutterstock

- City: Phoenix, Arizona
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 171,771
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 22.4%
- Median minutes delayed: 15
- Most common destinations: DEN, LAS, SEA

#11. Logan International

View of the exterior of Logan International Airport.

Leena Robinson // Shutterstock

- City: Boston, Massachusetts
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 141,691
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 22.5%
- Median minutes delayed: 21
- Most common destinations: DCA, LGA, JFK

#10. Austin - Bergstrom International

Travelers walk through an airport terminal at the Bergstrom International airport.

stock_photo_world // Shutterstock

- City: Austin, Texas
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 91,862
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 22.6%
- Median minutes delayed: 17
- Most common destinations: DFW, DEN, LAX

#9. George Bush Intercontinental/Houston

Passengers check-in at the Terminal D ticketing hall at George Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport.

JW_PNW // Shutterstock

- City: Houston, Texas
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 139,511
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 23.7%
- Median minutes delayed: 18
- Most common destinations: DFW, LAX, DEN

#8. John F. Kennedy International

Delta planes and ground operations at JFK Airport.

Kate Scott // Shutterstock

- City: New York, New York
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 136,057
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 24.3%
- Median minutes delayed: 23
- Most common destinations: LAX, SFO, BOS

#7. Dallas/Fort Worth International

Passengers prepare to board a flight at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

JW_PNW // Shutterstock

- City: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 279,358
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 25.1%
- Median minutes delayed: 23
- Most common destinations: LAX, ATL, LGA

#6. Newark Liberty International

Aerial view of Newark Liberty International Airport.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- City: Newark, New Jersey
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 144,038
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 25.9%
- Median minutes delayed: 20
- Most common destinations: MCO, ATL, LAX

#5. Miami International

Curbside view of the Miami International Airport.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

- City: Miami, Florida
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 100,401
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 26.6%
- Median minutes delayed: 21
- Most common destinations: ATL, JFK, LGA

#4. Harry Reid International

Afternoon view of Spirit airline airplane and the strip and Harry Reid International Airport.

Kit Leong // Shutterstock

- City: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 187,617
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 29.1%
- Median minutes delayed: 18
- Most common destinations: LAX, DEN, SEA

#3. Denver International

Inside the Denver International airport on the ground level at C-Gates.

Framalicious // Shutterstock

- City: Denver, Colorado
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 288,782
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 29.3%
- Median minutes delayed: 16
- Most common destinations: LAS, PHX, SLC

#2. Orlando International

Passengers wait at a gate at Orlando International Airport for a delayed flight.

Adam McCullough // Shutterstock

- City: Orlando, Florida
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 158,419
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 30.3%
- Median minutes delayed: 22
- Most common destinations: ATL, EWR, SJU

#1. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall

Ground operations at BWI Airport.

Kate Scott // Shutterstock

- City: Baltimore, Maryland
- Total flights from September 2022 to August 2023: 92,636
- Percent of flights delayed at least 15 minutes: 31.2%
- Median minutes delayed: 16
- Most common destinations: ATL, MCO, BOS

Story editing by Jaimie Etkin. Copy editing by Kristen Wegrzyn. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

This story originally appeared on TravelPerk and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


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