These Are the Worst US Airports for Canceled Flights

Feb 17, 2018

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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

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:

  1. LaGuardia Airport, 3.23
  2. George Bush Intercontinental, 2.73
  3. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, 2.70
  4. Newark Liberty International, 2.57
  5. John F. Kennedy International, 2.20
  6. Boston’s Logan International, 2.12
  7. Ronald Reagan Washington National, 2.00
  8. Orlando International, 1.97
  9. San Francisco International, 1.89
  10. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, 1.71
  11. Philadelphia International, 1.64
  12. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, 1.49
  13. Chicago Midway International, 1.42
  14. Chicago O’Hare International, 1.40
  15. San Diego International, 1.19
  16. Charlotte Douglas International, 1.12
  17. Dallas/Fort Worth International, 1.03
  18. Los Angeles International, 0.98
  19. Detroit Metro Wayne County, 0.94
  20. McCarran International, 0.90

Featured photo by Getty Images

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