America’s Worst Airports for Flight Delays
San Francisco Airport gets raves for its art museum, restaurants, and a Zen Room stocked with yoga mats. But SFO airport is among the worst three U.S. airports for flight delays, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Your odds of a delay—defined as a flight leaving more than 15 minutes behind schedule—average about 20 percent.
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Find out at which airports your flight is most likely to get delayed—and which times of day are worst for takeoff.
(Photo: Songquan Deng / Alamy)
Flights Delayed: 23.83%
Apparently, the New Jersey airport missed the memo that this was a year to improve on-time departures. Unlike most other U.S. airports, it fell by three percentage points in performance and skidded down to No. 1 worst airport (from its No. 7 tie last year). By 7 p.m., your chance of a delay here reaches the 40 percent mark. Your best chance is to fly out before 7 a.m.
Best Time Window: Before 7 a.m.
Worst Time Window: 1–11 p.m.
(Photo: Ian Shaw / Alamy)
Flights Delayed: 21.78%
How much slack can you cut an airport just for fog? SFO has been in the bottom 10 since 2008, and keeps inching closer to the No. 1 worst spot. Perhaps due to that poor visibility, it has the earliest start time for the period in which delays rise above 20 percent: a depressing 10 a.m. Your best strategy here is to leave really early.
Best Time Window: Before 8 a.m.
Worst Time Window: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
(Photo: Jacob Pavilack)
Flights Delayed: 20.1%