Amy Farley
April 30, 2009

Waiting in the Wings

This year, domestic flight delays are set to reach levels not seen since 2000. To help you navigate the country's increasingly congested hubs—especially so during the holidays—we've mapped out the 20 airports in the United States with the heaviest delays and noted the worst hours to travel through each. The best times to fly are, across the board, early morning and after 11pm. Below, you'll also find a list of domestic flights to avoid—those with the least chance of arriving on time.

Flight Delays: The Worst U.S. Airports

Percentage of all departures that are delayed at these major domestic airports, and the hour when the percentage of delayed flights is at its peak*

31%
Philadelphia
6-7 P.M. 49%

27%
Atlanta
9-10 P.M. 42%

27%
Chicago (O'Hare)
10-11 P.M. 44%

26%
Fort Lauderdale
9-10 P.M. 45%

25%
New York (JFK)
10-11 P.M. 39%

24%
Newark
9-10 P.M. 61%

24%
Las Vegas
9-10 P.M. 38%

24%
Seattle
8-9 P.M. 42%

23%
Miami
9-10 P.M. 44%

22%
Boston
7-8 P.M. 36%

22%
New York (LaGuardia)
9-10 P.M. 41%

22%
Washington (Dulles)
9-10 P.M. 33%

22%
Charlotte
9-10 P.M. 31%

22%
Chicago (Midway)
6-7 P.M. 39%

22%
Phoenix
8-9 P.M. 32%

21%
Baltimore (BWI)
10-11 P.M. 43%

21%
Detroit
8-9 P.M. 32%

20%
Orlando
6-7 P.M. 32%

20%
Dallas-Fort Worth
7-8 P.M. 30%

20%
Oakland
6-7 P.M. 33%

Hall of Shame

The five domestic flights with the worst on-time arrival records, plus five other popular routes that are also frequently delayed**

RANKAIRLINEFLIGHT
NUMBER
ROUTE% OF FLIGHTS
ARRIVING LAT
E
AVERAGE LENGTH
OF DELAY
1AirTran576Atlanta to Newark73.285.2 minutes
2ExpressJet+3257Rochester to Newark73.065.2
3Comair+5442Newark to Cincinnati72.163.4
4AirTran340Atlanta to Philadelphia68.578.2
5American1468Fort Lauderdale to LaGuardia67.972.4
Honorable Mentions
16Delta222Atlanta to LaGuardia63.261.0
19US Airways11Philadelphia to Los Angeles62.461.5
20American2278Miami to New York JFK62.3101.5
23Delta466New York JFK to San Francisco61.555.8
25Alaska329Los Angeles to San Francisco61.045.6

* A flight departing 15 minutes or more after the scheduled departure time is considered delayed. Figures are from January through July 2005 and are provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics

** A flight arriving 15 minutes or more after scheduled arrival time is considered delayed. Figures are from August 2004 through July 2005 and are provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics

+ ExpressJet is a Continental carrier; Comair is a Delta carrier

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