Holiday travel. It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year yet at the airport it can be anything but.
Tensions run high as everyone wants to arrive at their destinations – whether it’s home with their family for Christmas or relaxing on the slopes for Hanukkah. Flights are fully-booked as people who plan to travel for the holidays have air-tight commitments. No one wants to miss their New Year’s Eve plans.
Sprinkle in the fact that December is known for storms and blizzards and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
That’s why it pays to stick to some airports.
Using data from the 2018 holiday season, Treetopia, a company that sells unique and artificial Christmas trees, crunched the numbers to see which airports boasted the fewest delays and cancellations as well as which airlines are best to fly for the holiday season.
Cold weather airports can handle their snow
Despite cold and snowy conditions during the wintertime, airports in the Midwest were among the best in the country at avoiding holiday travel delays.
Ohio’s Dayton International came in first with only 23% of flights delayed and .77% of flights cancelled. Kona International in Hawaii was close behind with 25% of flights delayed and .18% of flights cancelled. Rounding out third place was also Hawaii’s Lihue with 28% of flights delayed and .58% cancelled.
Surprisingly cold weather havens like Ted Stevens Anchorage International (4) and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International (7) cracked the top ten.
Steer clear of the Southwest…and Chicago
However, not all of the Midwest offers speedy holiday travel. Chicago Midway International airport was named the worst for holiday travel with 77% of its flights delayed and .62% of flights cancelled.
Overall, the Treetopia study found that passengers in the Southwest ran into the most delays traveling during the holiday season. Of the worst airports, three were in Texas and two were in New Mexico, meaning that 40% of the list was Southwestern airports.
It helps to pick the right airline too
The study also found that Delta and United boasted the lowest rate for delays, with 33% of their flights running late. At the bottom of the barrel were the budget airlines: Frontier’s flights were delayed 50% of the time while 64% of Southwest’s flights were delayed last holiday season.
If you’re interested in seeing which routes are best at the holidays as well as which days experience the most delays, see their full list here.