These Are the Worst US Airports for Canceled Flights
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Last December’s power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) won the airport the dubious honor of having the highest number of canceled departing flights in 2017 across all US airports.
Atlanta, which experienced 5,419 cancellations, beat out Chicago’s O’Hare International (ORD) with 3,719 cancellations, with Houston‘s George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) in third place with 3,529 canceled flights. San Francisco International (SFO) and New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA) rounded out the “Top 5 Worst Airports” list, with 3,299 and 3,018 cancellations, respectively.
2017 was the first time in five years that Atlanta had more canceled flights than Chicago O’Hare, according to InsureMyTrip.com.
But Atlanta, which has been the nation’s busiest airport for the past two decades, ranked quite average in terms of the percentage of canceled flights relative to successful departures, despite having the largest number of cancellations.
Only 1.5% of scheduled domestic flights were canceled in 2017, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), which closely tracks airline performance rates. Unfortunately, delays are far more common than cancellations: The same DOT data showed that more than 17% of flights out of Atlanta ran behind schedule, just under the 2017 nationwide average of 18%.
At LaGuardia, more than 20% of departing flights were delayed in 2017.
By percentage of canceled flights, the rankings change yet again. Condé Nast Traveler compiled a list of 20 airports with the biggest percentage of flight cancellations in 2017:
- LaGuardia Airport, 3.23
- George Bush Intercontinental, 2.73
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, 2.70
- Newark Liberty International, 2.57
- John F. Kennedy International, 2.20
- Boston’s Logan International, 2.12
- Ronald Reagan Washington National, 2.00
- Orlando International, 1.97
- San Francisco International, 1.89
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, 1.71
- Philadelphia International, 1.64
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, 1.49
- Chicago Midway International, 1.42
- Chicago O’Hare International, 1.40
- San Diego International, 1.19
- Charlotte Douglas International, 1.12
- Dallas/Fort Worth International, 1.03
- Los Angeles International, 0.98
- Detroit Metro Wayne County, 0.94
- McCarran International, 0.90
Featured photo by Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.