Top 10 Airports With Worst On-Time Departures

Which airports are you most likely to be stuck twiddling your thumbs in? The Department of Transportation released statistics on the nation’s airports on-time departure percentages for 2007 (based on data through November). Here’s the results:
Rank / Airport / On-time departure percentage

10. Chicago, IL (MDW) 74.09%
9. Miami, FL (MIA) 73.70%
8. New York, NY (LGA) 72.29%
7. Atlanta, GA (ATL) 72.19%
6. Charlotte, NC (CLT) 71.66%
5. Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX (DFW) 71.57%
4. Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 69.62%
3. New York, NY (JFK) 69.06%
2. Newark, NJ (EWR) 68.40%
1. Chicago, IL (ORD) 68.15%

Seek alternate airports when possible, or factor the likelihood of a delay into your plans.

Ranking of Major Airport On-Time Departure Performance Year-to-date through November 2007 [DOT via Rick Seaney]
(Photo: Lili Vieira de Carvalho)


Edit Your Comment

  1. On Time Departures always remind me of a substitute teacher I once had in 6th grade who went on for half of the class about how a certain airline had the best On Time Departure times, and then digressed into a discussion of why Dunkin Donuts had the best coffee. Surprisingly, nearly 20 years later, I still remember that ONE class.

  2. SabrinaFaire says:

    We’re number 1! We’re number 1! And 10. Yay!!!!! Hey if you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning.

  3. PinkBox says:


    I’ve flown from the Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte airports before, but the only real delays were maybe 20 minutes waiting to get off of the plane in Chicago. (every time, it seemed.)

    The worst wait I ever had was at LGA… three hour delay.

  4. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    SFO may not be on that list, but the crossed runways are a wee bit more dangerous then those runways of the airports on the list.

  5. @causticitty: Does it matter how long the delay is w/this list? Is 20min counted as much as a 12 hour delay?

  6. tinders says:

    chicago FTW! now if only we still had Meigs field around we could take another slot.

  7. loganmo says:

    “I Seek alternate airports when possible, or factor the likelihood of a delay into your plans.”

    Eh…Midway is the alternate airport in Chicago…I know some no go to Milwaukee, but damb, is it really worth it? In my experience, MDW is not that bad though.

  8. HRHKingFriday says:

    DFW = Hell
    Half of their terminals are underground so you can’t even see if the plane is being serviced or whatever bs reason they’re giving you.

  9. barco says:

    If US Airways was not one of the bigger carriers at PHL I doubt they would even be on this list.

  10. Szin says:

    Woohoo! #8. LGA REPRESENT!

    Surprisingly, LGA isn’t that bad for Departures really. In all my time flying out of there, I’ve only really been delayed once or twice. Of course….that could’ve been USeless Airways fault more than LGA’s though.

  11. youbastid says:

    Is it me, or does this list get posted around twice a month?

  12. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    New York: If you can make it there…you’re probably going to be stuck there a little longer than you expected.

  13. Ghede says:

    If you are looking to LEAVE New York, there are some up north (compared to NYC anyways) that offer better prices, shorter lines, and fewer delays.

  14. humphrmi says:

    Maybe I’m jaded being a hometown boy, but I travel all the time and have never had more than a 10-15 minute delay out of O’Hare. Or maybe I’m just lucky, who knows. My worst delays by far have been out of LaGuardia and JFK. At least in the U.S.

  15. drharris says:

    This is a good example of bad statistics… It says nothing about how long you have to wait for each flight. 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 24 hours? It would have been much better to rank them by average delay. After all, I can live with a 2 minute delay.

  16. GOKOR says:

    I’ve flown DFW and Philadelphia over 20 times each and the only delays I’ve ever had were maybe 10-15 minutes waiting to depart because they are very busy airports. Planes are always on time and always board on time.

    Give or take for bad weather, but that’s no issue to take up with the airport.

  17. MissPeacock says:

    I flew through four of those airports last year (along with a host of others) and not one time did I have a plane leave or arrive on time.

  18. bdsakx says:

    D/FW is actually pretty solid, but when that storm comes rolling around the corner everything goes up in chaos.

  19. spryte says:

    WOOHOO California! Hahahahaha, we CAN do something right!

  20. dj_skilz says:

    Wow, first our public transit system, now aviation. We are taking bad to a whole new level.

    BOTH OUR AIRPORTS (Midway & Ohare) LOL.

  21. peteynice says:

    I demand a recount! Isn’t Newark always #1 on these things? How did Chicago take over the top spot?

    I hope the computer rankings are better than this poll so Newark and JFK can meet in the Airport BCS title game.

  22. theblackdog says:

    One problem…Southwest hasn’t told me yet where my layovers are for my trip from Baltimore to Phoenix, so I could be screwed by one of these airports…

  23. Quellman says:

    I get to go through 3 of them this weekend. Huzzah!

  24. Cad06 says:

    Please note the busiest airport in the nation is #7!

  25. bubuli says:

    so if you’re flying from NJ, you’re pretty much screwed.

    And I agree with PeteyNice: EWR is the worst.

    (oh, I live in NJ)

  26. fuzzball21 says:

    Joys of living in Chicago…. not only do I have to listen to all the planes, but they are late when I need to get out of town.

  27. Canoehead says:

    While personal experience is, of course, only personal and anecdotal, I’ve always found JFK to be much better than LGA. Maybe it is because if I leave JFK I am usually on Cathay Pacific or Jet Blue, and from LGA I’m likely on Delta or Scare Canada, but my LGA experiences are usually much worse. In the summer, they seem to basically shut down LGA for thunderstorms.

    Newark is generally a mess, but the terminal is at least less crowded than the other two.

  28. MonkeyMonk says:

    How in the hell did Logan in Boston not make this list. I don’t think I’ve ever had a single flight in or out of there go smoothly.

    I’ve always thought Midway in Chicago was great. Maybe I was just delusional because O’Hare sucks so badly.

  29. vladthepaler says:

    I fly out of Midway whenever I fly. No delays.

  30. ekasbury says:

    Ha, take that LaGuardia!

    – Elliott, Miami, FL

    PS They don’t call it MIA for nothin.