A number of factors have combined to make air travel harder now than it’s been in years, including staff shortages (from pilots and onboard crews to baggage handlers and other ground personnel); increasingly unstable weather; and disruptive passenger violence, which has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic. (See 50 ways air travel has changed over the last 100 years.)
Nonetheless, in the face of these challenges, some airports manage to maintain a good on-time performance record. And by this measure, the best U.S. airport for summer travel is apt to be Minneapolis/St. Paul International.
To determine what are likely to be the best U.S. airports for summer travel this year, based on on-time arrivals and departures for 2021, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the annual airport rankings published by AirHelp, a claims management company associated with the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates.
The AirHelp data, covering on-time performance for over 100,000 flights last year, is based on flight information displays, transponders and airport radar terminals, and air traffic control systems, among other sources, and is self-reported. Information on annual domestic arrivals, departures, and primary airline at each airport in 2021 comes from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Bear in mind that this data may be misleading to the extent that problems affecting on-time performance have worsened over the past year, and even the best-run airports have likely been affected. (These are the 10 busiest airports in the world.)
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