The Itinerary

Airports to Avoid When You Hate Delays

Posted Jun 26, 2015 12:00:00 PM in Travel Tips by Amanda Hand

Seasoned travelers know the pains of flight delays all too well. If you are like a lot of travelers, flight delays have caused you to sprint down the terminals with far too many things in hand. Maybe they have forced you to sit at an airport bar for one too many drinks, or wait countless hours in the stiff terminal seating.

Watch how this Disney crew entertained travlers during delays. 


No matter which experience you’ve had, flight delays are a major inconvenience. Avoiding them would be best, and since numbers don’t lie, a statistical approach sounds pretty practical.

Nate Silver, a statistics genius, has put together the delay statistics for FAA’s “large hubs.” It’s geared towards predicting the likelihood of delays for specific airports. He is also able to show you which airline has the fastest flight times to make up for any potential delays. If you are someone who travels often, this is pure gold and you want to check it out.




Image by Nate Silver with FiveThirtyEight

TravelSafe is located outside of Philadelphia, and it is our main airport when we fly out for personal and business travel. So it was no surprise to us when we found the Philadelphia International Airport to be #5 on the list of worst airports to fly out of. Needless to say, we will be prepared for potential delays in the future.

With this FiveThirtyEight’s interactive, you can actually plug in the prospective airports and see which flight route is anticipated to be fastest. This is not a bad deal, especially if airport operations are not your forte.

As you can see by Nate’s review, larger cities are much more likely to have delays. If they are located in an area with more unpredictable weather patterns, they are even more likely.

How Nate’s information can help you is pretty simple; you are able to see the probability of flight delays for your travel dates. His information is so detailed, you are able to see which months are more likely for delays for a specific airport. This information gives you power. 

You can decide whether a flight delay is likely and travel insurance is a good investment. You will also be able to see if you should invest in the extra cost and choose to fly direct versus taking the cheaper flight with 1-2 stops.

It is a tool every traveler should use, especially those who do not like to get stuck running through terminals to catch their connection or sitting next to a stranger at an airport bar with overpriced wine, cheese and crackers.

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