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The Best And Worst Airports For Getting Stuck During Holiday Travel This Year?

The Best And Worst Airports For Getting Stuck During Holiday Travel This Year?
Scott Dylan

Delays are probably on your mind if you have travel plans for the holiday season. In fact, delays and headaches have pretty much become synonymous with visiting the nation’s airports during the holiday travel season. Some travelers are luckier than others when it comes to where they get stuck spending time. Orbitz is confirming what all of us frequent travelers already know by releasing its list of the 15 best and worst airports in the United States to get delayed in this holiday season.

Orbitz thinks Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the best for being delayed during the holidays. One positive detail is that 85 percent of the flights that depart from this airport actually leave on time. That means you’re not that likely to get trapped here for very long. This airport is also full of interesting features. You can kill some time while visiting an underground forest between Concourse A and Concourse B. In addition, there are private rooms for rent that feature beds and televisions. Hartsfield-Jackson is also known for offering extremely fast Wi-Fi. Delayed passengers can spend some time at the 26 bars, 23 coffee shops and 90 retail spots within the airport.

While Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is only a small jump away from Hartsfield–Jackson, this airport is worlds away when it comes to delays. Charlotte’s hub takes the last spot according to Orbitz. This airport’s lackluster amenities are responsible for its dead-last ranking. Charlotte houses 36 shops in total. You’re going to have to hunt a little bit if you want to get a java fix during a delay. That’s because Charlotte only has eight coffee shops. That’s 15 less than Atlanta’s airport. What just might be the worst thing of all is the fact that Charlotte has notoriously slow Wi-Fi.

We’ve taken a look at the best and the worst airports when it comes to delays this holiday season. Which airports fall somewhere in the middle? Here’s a look at the full list of the 15 best and worst airports to get delayed in this holiday season:

  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

There are some neat facts to keep in mind as you brave the crowds and head to the nation’s airports to get to holiday destinations this year. Take a look around to admire the vastness of DFW if you happen to get stuck there. That hub actually covers 17,207 acres and is larger than the entire island of Manhattan. You may want to prepare for disappointment if you’re catching a flight out of MIA. Miami’s hub is one of the worst performers when it comes to on-time flights. The airport cancels around 2.54 percent of its flights annually.

[Image: Wikimedia/Nanashinodensyaku]

View Comments (4)


  1. fotographer

    December 15, 2018 at 6:45 am

    keep in mind ATL is a zoo during holidays, try getting a seat at any restaurant, or bar is not to impossible
    and in order to partake of all the places to eat/drink, you have to take the train to the terminals

  2. MimiB22

    December 15, 2018 at 7:42 am

    I’m a south Floridian and in my estimation, Miami is the worst of any international AP. The place is a zoo, starting with confusing access, heavy traffic, inconvenient parking, finding and using buses from terminal to terminal and being let off or catching rides. Even worse are the international terminal waiting areas and baggage claim. I have never had a painless experience there. As an American I’ve experienced terminal personnel who don’t speak enough English to answer questions or provide information. If you speak Spanish, you’re in luck. There’s almost always mass confusion, pushing, rudeness. I can’t speak to domestic travel from there, as I don’t fly in our out. I use FLL, PBI, MCO or Tampa.

  3. j2simpso

    December 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    There’s a reason why Miami’s IATA code is MIA (Missing in Action!)

  4. WASSadFlyer

    December 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I can’t understand the construct of the ranking. There are over 400 airports in the U.S. alone, and CLT is 15th? That seems like an excellent ranking. What am I missing (probably a lot).

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