The summer of revenge travel is seemingly exacting its own revenge on vacationers with canceled flights, long delays, and massive amounts of lost luggage. U.S. airlines have already canceled over 100,000 flights this year, while 260,000 have been delayed. These are the U.S. airports with the worst flight delays.
As passenger counts are nearing pre-pandemic levels, staffing shortages are leading to bottlenecks in the industry – and many airlines can’t keep up. To determine the best and worst airlines in 2022, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on airline performance for the period January 1, 2022 to July 28, 2022 from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. We created an index composed of average departure delay time for all flights, average taxi time for all arriving flights, the percentage of all flights that are late, and the percentage of all flights that are canceled. We only considered mainline U.S.-based passenger airlines. Airlines are ranked best to worst.
While bad weather and understaffing at air traffic control facilities have caused a small percentage of delayed flights this year,airlines themselves have been responsible for the majority of the delays, according to Transportation Department data. As airline executives have scheduled thousands of additional flights to cash in on the summer’s surge in vacation travel, their workers have struggled to meet the increase in capacity.
Some airlines are seeing cancellation rates as high as 5.7 percent, compared to a national average of 2 percent during 2019, before the pandemic devastated the airline industry. Meanwhile, the percentage of late flights at airlines on our list runs from 7.5 to 13.8 percent. Budget airlines including Spirit, JetBlue, and Frontier fared the worst in our ranking. (Delays are much worse at certain airports. This is the worst city for airport layovers.)
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