21 Worst Airports for Delays and Cancellations 2022

2022 has seen the highest number of flight delays and cancelations and in this guide, I’ll describe in detail the 10 worst airports for delays and cancellations.

In September President Joe Biden released a slew of measures aimed at providing fairness in the airline industry by curbing airlines that cancel flights without refunding their customers.

Reuters reported President Biden stating that “My administration is also cracking down on the airlines to get passengers fairer treatment.”

According to Biden, as of September 2022, 8 airlines are now covering hotels, 9 are covering meals, and rebooking passengers for free for their canceled flights. He promises that even more rules will be put into place in the future to protect airline passengers.

Below is a snapshot from Reuters’ and CNN’s reporting on the new measures;

What are airline cancellations and delays? 5 causes:

Bad weather:

Cancellations and delays are often caused by bad weather, meaning inclement conditions such as rain, snow, or wind. A big part of the problem is that the US has a lot of airports spread out over a large area. When one airport is experiencing bad weather, it can affect flights at other airports.

Airline crew and pilots shortage:

The number of flight delays and cancellations has increased in recent years due to a shortage of airline crew and pilots. This has been caused by the increasing popularity of air travel, as well as by the fact that many pilots are reaching retirement age. Airlines are now having to hire more pilots and crew, which is causing delays and cancellations.

Mechanical issues:

Another common cause of delays and cancellations is mechanical issues with the aircraft. This can be anything from a minor problem with the engine to a more serious issue with the landing gear. Aircraft are becoming increasingly complex, which means that there are more opportunities for something to go wrong.

Air traffic control:

Air traffic control is responsible for directing the movement of aircraft, and delays can often be caused by problems with air traffic control. This could be anything from a power outage at the air traffic control center to bad weather conditions.

Security concerns:

Delays and cancellations can also be caused by security concerns, such as a bomb threat. This is usually only a problem at major airports, as smaller airports typically have less stringent security procedures.

Greedy behavior by airlines:

In some cases, delays and cancellations are caused by the airlines themselves. For example, an airline might cancel a flight in order to make room for passengers on a more profitable route. This is known as “cancellation creep” and it’s becoming increasingly common as airlines look to maximize their profits.

How did I determine the worst airports for delays and cancellations

To come up with a list of airports with the worst delays and cancellations, I used FlightAware’s real-time flight traffic tracker and referred to historical information published on other sites such as CNN and Fortune.

FlightAware’s tracker has delay trackers for all flights daily with a breakdown of daily delays and daily cancellations broken down as different item lines as shown in the snapshot below;

For all flights canceled today, check here.

As of November 1, 2022, the following are the airports with the worst delays as per the last 325 delays recorded and 13 latest cancellations.

JFK Leads as the Worst Airport for delays and Cancellations in the US

So far this summer, New York City’s airports have been ranked among the top 10 worst in the world for delays and cancellations. LaGuardia airport alone saw 7.4 percent of its flights canceled and 27 percent delayed, making it not only the seventh worst airport in the world for cancellations but also the top international airport for cancelled flights that isn’t located in China. The latter country’s airports hold by far ­the most number of flight cancelations on an international scale. Only slightly behind is LaGuardia is Newark Liberty International Airport, which ranks ninth in the world with a 7.2 percent cancellation rate and 32 percent of flights delayed.

List of 10 Worst Airports with Delays and Cancellations:

1. Chicago Midway International Airport: 37.7%

2. Baltimore/Washington International Airport: 32.5%

3. Orlando International Airport: 32.2%

4. John F. Kennedy International Airport: 31%

5. Harry Reid International Airport (Las Vegas): 31%

6. Newark Liberty International Airport: 30.4%

7. Dallas Love Field Airport: 29.1%

8. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport: 28.3%

9. Denver International Airport: 27.5%

10. Charlotte Douglas International Airport: 27.2%

List of top 10 Airports with the highest percentages of flights canceled:

1. Newark Liberty International Airport: 6.7%

2. LaGuardia Airport: 6.7%

3. Reagan National Airport: 4.8%

4. Raleigh-Durham International Airport: 3.7%

5. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport: 3.5%

6. Pittsburgh International Airport: 3.4%

7. Boston Logal International Airport: 3%

8. John Glenn Columbus International Airport: 3%

9. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport: 2.9%

10. Indianapolis International Airport: 2.9%

List of 10 Airports with the highest percentages of flights delayed around the world:

1. Toronto Pearson International Airport: 51.9%

2. Montreal-Trudeau International Airport: 47.8%

3. Frankfurt International Airport: 44.5%

4. Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon): 43%

5. London Gatwick Airport: 42%

6. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport: 41.6%

7. Munich International Airport: 40.1%

8. Manchester Airport: 39%

9. Athens International Airport: 38.5%

10. Vancouver International Airport: 37.8%

List of 10 Airports with the highest percentages of flights canceled around the world:

1. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China): 29.8%

2. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (China): 15.6%

3. Beijing Capital International Airport (China): 14.7%

4. Nanjing Lukou International Airport (China): 14.4%

5. Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (China): 9.5%

6. Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (China): 9.1%

7. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia): 8.3%

8. Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (China): 8.2%

9. Newark Liberty International Airport (US): 6.7%

10. LaGuardia Airport (US): 6.7%

Notable states about delay and cancelation data:

A big portion of international canceled and delayed flights are in China and this is because of their zero Covid policy. It has worked excellently for them but has caused many delays and cancellations for travelers.

The United States falls in second place for having the highest percentage of flights delayed, with 29.4%. This is due largely in part to staffing shortages; specifically, a severe pilot shortage. Management consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates that there is presently a deficit of about 8,000 pilots within the industry and says it’s possible this number could reach 30,000 by 2025.

According to the firm, North America’s quick rebound in air travel demand after COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted created an immediate pilot shortage. In fact, the region is now short 11% of the pilots it needs, or around 8,000 pilots. And this shortage will only grow worse throughout the decade.

The graph below shows the global shortage of 79,000 pilots;

The chart below shows the 29,000 shortage of pilots in the US alone;

In July, CNN wrote a piece warning that the US Airline shortage could continue.

What to do when a flight get canceled – 8 thing to kill time:

  • If you’re stuck in the airport due to a canceled flight, there are a few things you can do to kill time.
  • 1. Browse the shops: Most airports have a variety of shops ranging from Duty Free to luxury brands. Why not take advantage of the tax-free prices on offer?
  • 2. Have a meal: There are usually a number of restaurants and cafes available in airports. If you’re looking for something quick, there are often fast food outlets too.
  • 3. Get some work done: If you need to get some work done, most airports have business lounges with Wi-Fi access. These usually come with desks, power sockets and other amenities to make working easier.
  • 4. Grab a drink: There’s nothing like grabbing a drink after a long day of travel. Most airports have bars, and some even have nightclubs!
  • 5. Relax in the airport spa: If you’re looking to relax, many airports have spas where you can enjoy massages, facials and other treatments.
  • 6. Sleep at a sleeping pod: Some airports such as Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Heathrow, Dubai, Schiphol, and JFK have Minute Suites or Gosleep sleeping pods that you can rent per hour for $40 – $50.
  • 7. Play some video games: Airport gaming lounges are becoming increasingly popular, and offer a great way to kill time.
  • 8. Enjoy airport lounges: If you have access to an airport lounge, make the most of it! These usually come with complimentary food and drink, comfortable seating and quiet areas to work or relax. You can choose to get a membership such as Priority Pass, or Centurion Card or have airline-specific membership such as Delta Sky Club, or American Express Platinum Card.


What are the flight cancelations and delays at JFK today?

On October 31 going to Nov 1, the total delays today at John F Kennedy Intl are 146 and 4 cancelations as per FlightAware’s tracker which shows that only 11% of all airlines to JFK today were canceled. If you’re reading this on a day that’s not November 1st and want to know cancelations and delay at JFK on any particular day, use this link to FlightAware’s hourly tracker of delays and cancelations at JFK.

Below are links to where you can find cancelations in different airports today;

  1. LAX Airport delays and cancelations
  2. SFO

Which airport has the shortest runway?

The shortest runway in the world is at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba. The runway is only 400 meters (1,312 feet) long, and there is a steep drop-off at both ends into the sea. Read this article with a list of all the airports with the smallest runways.

Do I get refunded when my flight gets canceled?

It depends on the airline and the reason for the cancellation. If the cancellation is due to reasons within the airline’s control (e.g. maintenance or staffing issues), you are typically entitled to a full refund. If the cancellation is due to weather or other factors outside of the airline’s control, you may only be entitled to a partial refund or no refund at all. It’s always best to check with the airline directly to see what their policy is.

Can I insure my flight in case of delays or cancelations?

Yes, While it’s not common, you can insure your flight in case of delays or cancelations. Travel insurance policies typically cover delays of 6 hours or more, and some policies will also cover cancellations due to sickness, weather, or other factors outside of your control. Check with your insurer to see what is included in your policy.

Although most insurance companies will not cover a flight cancellation for any reason, Allianz is one of the few that offers cancelation coverage under specific circumstances. When you have to cancel your trip due to an eligible circumstance as specified in our policy, Allianz will reimburse you.

Below are 6 reasons that Allianz will accept as valid to reimburse your canceled flights;

  1. You or a traveling companion becomes seriously ill or injured, or develops a medical condition
  2. A family member who is not traveling with you becomes seriously ill or injured, or develops a medical condition
  3. A traveling companion or family member dies
  4. You need to attend the birth of a family member’s child
  5. Your primary residence is uninhabitable
  6. Your destination is uninhabitable

Allianz and most insurance companies will not reimburse you if;

  • You oversleep and miss your flight
  • You change your mind at the last minute and decide not to go
  • Your dog gets sick
  • You leave your passport at home, and the airline won’t let you board

Is flight cancelation insurance worth it?

To guard yourself against unpredictable events, invest in reliable travel protection. When you include flight insurance in a comprehensive travel insurance plan, you can relax and enjoy your trip without stressing about all the things that could go wrong. If budget is a concern, consider an affordable option like OneTrip Basic or OneTrip Cancellation Plus.

Having gotten a refund this past summer for a cancelation that was out of my control, I can attest that the flight protective insurance is worth it and then some! Allianz’s popular plan will reimburse you up to $5000 for flight delays and cancelations, and up to $150 for travel expenses.

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