The spring and summer have been catastrophic for airlines. Despite brisk demand, which is a major comeback from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, carriers have been hit by delays and cancellations, which have led to a tremendous number of consumer complaints. The federal government has warned the airlines that this level of service is unacceptable. The airlines have responded that weather and what they claim is a shortage of airport staff are far beyond their control.
The carriers have themselves to blame for many of the delays and cancellations. They cut the size of their fleets and employee counts during the pandemic. As demand has rebounded, they do not have the capacity to meet it. Shortages include a dearth of pilots. Carriers have started to sharply increase their compensation. It is too early to say whether this will improve delay and cancellation problems.
Carriers also have blamed the weather, which they say has been particularly bad during times of heavy travel that have peaked on holiday weekends. It is hard to measure whether these weather-related challenges are larger than they have been in the past.
No matter what the cause, the flying public has faced cancellations, long hours in airports due to delays and trips they have needed to postpone or abandon altogether.
Delays vary significantly by both carrier and airport. The recent Revealed: The US Airports & Airlines With the Most Frequent Flight Delays report from the Family Vacation Guide shows a wide difference among America’s largest airports based on flight delays and cancellations. The data were pulled from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and covered the period from July 2019 to July 2021. The study’s weakness is that it does not include more recent data.
The airport with the worst cancellation and delay data was Newark Liberty International, with 24.29% of flights falling into the category. The airport is one of the three that serve the New York City area. The others are John F. Kennedy International and La Guardia, which had the second-worst number of delays and cancellations among the airports covered at 22.22%.
These are the 10 American airports ranked by delays and cancellations:
|Airport||% Late or Cancelled||% On Time|
|Newark Liberty International||24.29||75.71|
|Dallas/Fort Worth International||20.77||79.23|
|Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International||20.22||79.78|
|Palm Beach International||19.66||80.34|
|Boston Logan International||19.39||80.61|
|Louis Armstrong New Orleans International||19.39||80.61|
|San Antonio International||19.03||80.97|
|John F. Kennedy International||18.79||81.21|
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