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May 20, 2019

Philly airport among worst in U.S. for summer flight delays

Travel Airports
Philadelphia International Airport Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia International Airport.

Travelers with plans to fly out of Philadelphia International Airport this summer should be advised: It's one of the worst airports in the United States for flight delays during the warm months of the year.

An annual study of summer flight delays conducted by ranked PHL seventh-worst in the country for late flights, with just 74.2% of flights arriving on time during the heavy travel season.

The rate of timeliness of PHL's flights is 3.1% better than the previous year, still making Philly the sixth-worst airport for annual improvement.

The worst airports in the country for summer flight delays are Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, San Francisco and JFK International in New York followed by Boston's Logan and Chicago's O'Hare.

The study notes that most of the worst airports for summer delays are located in the Northeast, where airspace tends to be crowded and seasonal storms frequently impact arrival times. They're also among the nation's busiest airports and tend to be hubs for airlines (PHL is major hub for American Airlines, for example).

On the other side of the spectrum, Honolulu (87.2%), Salt Lake City (85.8%) and Orange County (82.5%) have the fewest flight delays in the summer in the United States. The most improved are William P. Hobby Airport in Houston (+10.9%), Dallas Love Field (+8.2%) and Los Angeles (+4.2%).

To avoid having travel plans derailed by a late flight, the study advises travelers, as often as possible, to fly non-stop and to book the earliest flights in the day in order to avoid potential delays.