Best and Worst Airports for Holiday Travel


We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but holiday travel can sometimes be less than ideal. Frustrating, even. No matter how hardened a globetrotter you are, this festive season brings price-gauging, numbing traffic, and on-edge airport staff. Yes, this most wonderful time of year can, at times, be pretty difficult.

Well, the people at crunched the numbers and put together an awesome infographic to help you prepare for the worst. They’ve compiled data released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics from 2003 to 2011 for airport departures, and have ranked the 25 most popular airports by percentage of on-time departures. And unless you’re a know-it-all, the stats might surprise you.

For instance, even the most on-time airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston still had a 20% delay rate. Second in line is Charlotte’s CLT airport with a mere 19% of delayed flights. Dallas/Fort Worth sits comfortably in third place with just 22% delayed flights.

The worst of the bunch, with an abysmal 63% of on-time, 34% percent delayed, and 3% cancelled flights during the holiday season was, you guessed it, San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Not far behind is Newark Airport with 33% delayed flights and 4% cancelled flights, followed by Chicago’s O’Hare and everyone’s favorite place to be delayed New York’s JFK. What we found interesting, though, is that the percentage of delayed flights in the best and worst airports is not a huge gap.

Check out’s list below, and steel yourself for this holiday season.

Photo credits: Infographic courtesy of; Newark airport via Songquan Deng/