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America's Worst Airports


A bad experience at an airport can set your vacation off on the wrong foot or send you home at the end in a bad mood (when you have to get ready to go back to work, too). Here are five to avoid if possible.

A bad experience at an airport can set your vacation off on the wrong foot or send you home at the end in a bad mood (when you have to get ready to go back to work, too).

Everyone has probably had a bad experience or two in their time, whether it’s missing a connecting flight or getting as comfy as possible in a seat because you’ve been delayed by a few hours. However, one bad experience in Orlando could just be a one-time deal rather than a consistent problem.

Hopper.com ran the numbers to you know what airports to avoid if possible or which ones you prepare for a bad experience. The travel site analyzed 100 airports with more than 5,000 flights per year, factoring in average departure delays, number of flights cancelled, on-time departure percentages and weather delays.

Here are the top five airports that travelers are recommended to stay as far away from as possible.

5. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)

Eight busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, DFW is the second largest airport in the United States. The airport had 157,910 flights in 2011 and the average departure delay was 12:01 minutes, with a whopping 3,181 flights canceled.

4. Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International (EWR)

The Manhattan and Jersey City skylines are visible from Terminal C

In 2011 1.79% of EWR’s flights were canceled. Of the 15 worst airports in the U.S., EWR had the largest departure delay by an average of 17:32 minutes. Luckily for some travelers, the Newark airport is just a 20 minute train ride from New York City in case your flight is canceled.

3. Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston (IAH)

Art installation at IAH of the G7 member countries plus the European Union

The airport was the tenth busiest for total passengers in North America in 2011. Flights departed on time 74.79% of the time. When they were delayed, it was by an average of 15:34 minutes.

2. Washington, D.C.: Washington Dulles International (IAD)

Just 26 miles west of the nation’s capital, 77.82% of IAD’s departing flights are on time. With 43,683 flights in 2011, this airport had the least amount of flights of the top five worst airport, but still canceled 1.76% of flights in 2011.

1. Chicago, IL: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)

O’Hare’s international terminal

Until 2005, O’Hare was the world’s busiest airport in terms of takeoffs and landings, but the government imposed limits to reduce flight delays. The Windy City’s airport reported 166,253 weather delays in 2011 and canceled 2.08% of its 181,558 flights.

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