Pat Hyland - Feb 10, 2020
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The "Airport Misery Index" has been released presenting the worst American airports. The rating, carried out by the ValuePenguin site, classifies the airports by considering not only flight delays but also cancellations, waiting time on the tarmac or the length of queues to get past security. The rating is based on official data from the Department of Transportation on the 83 largest American airports.

New York Airports Are Struggling

The big winner, or loser, according to the rating, is by far the New York area: Newark Airport tops this unenviable ranking, with 26.1% of its flights delayed in 2019 - the worst rate in the United States. Almost 12% of flights are delayed by more than an hour and the average delay is almost 24 minutes, about 4 minutes longer than the second-worst airport. Another bad point for Newark: 3.8% of flights are ultimately cancelled.

The two other New York airports' prospects are scarcely any better: LaGuardia takes third place in the ranking, while JFK stands out in the eighth position. New York-JFK, the country's fifth airport, with 61.9 million passengers in 2018, is ranked the worst American airport for wait times on the tarmac, with a rating of 4.4%, ahead of LaGuardia and its 3.9%. JFK and LaGuardia are also the only two U.S. airports with a security wait time index of 7, the worst level.

Chicago Is Not Much Better

Chicago also made a big splash in the poor results: the third largest airport in the country, with 83.4 million passengers in 2018, O'Hare airport takes second place in the ranking, while Chicago Midway International is eleventh. Midway Airport even has the highest rate of late flights in the United States, 28.3%, and the highest cancellation rate, 5.3%!

Here are the Top 10 worst American airports:

  1. Newark
  2. Chicago-O'Hare
  3. New York-LaGuardia
  4. Denver International
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth
  6. Boston-Logan
  7. San Francisco International
  8. New York-JFK
  9. Fort Lauderdale
  10. Orlando International

These are the airports that stand out

At the bottom of the ranking, the ranking highlights the airports that are the most pleasant for passengers. No surprise: these are secondary airports with little traffic. The best American airport, with an index of 0, is Hawaii's Kahului Airport. A gold star for the San Jose International Airport, too, which has the lowest index in waiting times for going through security. It's even the only one to display an index of 1 in this area! Airports in Honolulu, Hawaii and Anchorage Alaska have the lowest average delay before takeoff in the United States, taking just 7 short minutes. Daniel Inouye Airport in Honolulu also has the lowest cancellation rate in the country, at 0.3%.

Also of note is the honorable classification of the two largest American airports: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson comes in 63rd place and Los Angeles International in 57th position, while they received nearly 111 million and 88 million passengers last year, respectively.

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