The Numbers Are In: Flights Last Winter Were ‘Less Terrible’ Than Usual
Nothing ruins a vacation faster than missing a connecting flight because of a delay. Fortunately, industry-wide things are looking up. On average, flight delays were 18 minutes shorter this year than in 2013. Last January saw an average delay of 17 minutes while a year prior the delay averaged 35 minutes. Overall, this is great news, but there are still some airlines out there pulling the number down.
FiveThirtyEight—a website focused on breaking down hard data to tell stories about travel, politics, lifestyle, and other worldly happenings—pulled together the numbers that make up this annual average. Here are a few takeaways:
The Fastest Airports All Have Great Weather
Great weather means predictable weather: Honolulu, Portland, Oregon, San Diego, Tampa, and Salt Lake City are all on the list of fastest airports.
The Delays at New York's LaGuardia Just Keep Getting Worse
The airport averages a 56-minute delay for every round-trip flight, six minutes worse than last year.
In Fact, New York Airports All Come in Last
The three slowest airports in the country are LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark, in that order. That being said...
Newark Saw the Largest Drop in Delays
Newark seems to boast contradicting superlatives, but the airport's previous delays were so bad even an eight-minute improvement in wait time couldn't move them out of last place.
Chicago-Midway is Quicker Than O-Hare
There aren't many cities where passengers have a choice of airports, but in Chicago, there's a clear winner in terms of delays. Round-trip flights out of Midway were 12 minutes faster than those traveling to and from O'Hare.
Flying Virgin Airlines Will Save You Time
Passengers on Virgin flights save about seven minutes on each leg of their journey. If you're looking at a round-trip and a connection, that adds up to about a half-hour.
To check out the full data breakdown, head over to FiveThirtyEight.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.