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This U.S. Airport Had the Highest Cancellations in 2022

It saw a 286.77% increase from 2021.

Last summer, it was the perfect storm. Travelers were united in frustration when flight cancellations and delays, lost luggage, long queues at airports, and every other kind of disruption imaginable became regular events in Europe and the U.S. Traveling in Europe continues to be a struggle as union strikes paralyze different sectors.

As per the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2.69% flights were cancelled in the U.S. and 20.75% were delayed. Weather caused many problems, but staff shortages and high demand are still causing the aviation wheels to stop turning. In December, Southwest raised the percentages when it had a major meltdown. More than 16,000 flights were cancelled during the holiday season and the airline has been apologizing ever since. 

But a new analysis by travel insurance InsureMyTrip has revealed the U.S. airports that had the highest (and the lowest) cancellations rates. It might come as a surprise that it isn’t the high traffic JFK in New York City, but the small Buffalo airport in New York State. 

Airports With Worst Flight Cancellations

Buffalo Niagara International Airport had the highest cancellation rate last year—from 1.43% cancellations in 2021, it went up 5.55%. In January, the Transportation Security Administration also announced that it’s looking to hire officers to meet the expected demand this summer.

The travel insurance company used data by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to rank the busiest American airports that have felt the tremors of a bad year in aviation. JFK just missed the top 10 with 3.69% cancellation rate, but La Guardia made the top three with a rate of 5.19%. Other big airports with high cancellations rates are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C., and Orlando International Airport.

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Another finding from this analysis is that there were just eight airports with a lower cancellation rate in 2022 as compared to 2021. Last year, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport topped the list with 6.10% cancellations, while this year it has fallen in the middle of the list with a 2.37% cancellation rate.

Hawaii has come out a winner here—three of its airports were placed with the least rate of cancellation at less than 1%.

Passenger Rights

DOT has been pulling up airlines for a variety of things. In September, the department unveiled a new customer service dashboard that helps fliers understand what they are owed by the airline if a flight is delayed or cancelled. All 10 airlines listed on the dashboard accommodate passengers on other flights of the same airline at no additional cost and all of them provide meals or meal vouchers for passengers waiting for the new flight for more than three hours. According to this dashboard, Frontier is the only airline that doesn’t offer hotel accommodation for overnight cancellations.

The department also makes it clear that passengers are entitled to a refund if their flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, even if they had non-refundable tickets. It is clearly stated: If an airline cancels a passenger’s flight or makes a significant change in the flight, regardless of the reason, airlines are required to provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger, including those with non-refundable tickets, should the passenger choose not to accept the alternative offered, such as rebooking on another flight. 

You have options if your flight is cancelled by the airline and you can check details about refunds here. If the airline refuses to refund your ticket, you can file a complaint with DoT.

Related: 11 Tips for Avoiding Flight Cancellations and Delays (and What to Do When It Happens)