Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means there are two major sources of stress lying in wait: family and travel. Thanksgiving travel is notorious for being prone to delays, so which airports are the most likely to ruin your Thanksgiving? Well, based on the analysis Vocativ did of Bureau of Transportation statistics, there are definitely a few top contenders. Though hopefully all your Thanksgiving travel plans go off without a hitch, regardless of where you're flying from — or to!
Travel problems are never fun, but around the holidays, they are the worst, since they have the potential to not only inconvenience, but to ruin your plans with friends and family. And if you typically travel out of state for Thanksgiving, chances are you have at least one airport-related horror story. For me, I remember one Thanksgiving not long ago when my mom, sister, and I were all supposed to arrive within half an hour of each other on Thanksgiving morning and head to Thanksgiving dinner together — but then my sister's flight was delayed by three hours. So instead of Thanksgiving dinner with the family, the three of us sat in two different airport bars in two different states texting and getting very drunk on empty stomachs together.
Hey, you make the most of it, right?
So how likely are you to experience airport delays this holiday season — or even worse, get stranded? With so many people traveling — not to mention the way the weather can be in late November — travel delays are unfortunately always a risk this time of year, but some airports are worse than others. Here are the six with the worst delays in November:
6. Philadelphia (PHL)
In November, 10.5 percent of all flights out of Philadelphia are delayed every year.
5. New York, Laguardia (LGA)
During most of the year, Laguardia isn't even in the top ten worst airports of delays, but in November it's in the top five with 10.8 percent of flights getting delayed.
4. Chicago, Midway (MDW)
The smaller of Chicago's two airports actually does a little better in November than they do on average, but 12.2 percent of flights are still delayed in November.
3. San Francisco (SFO)
San Francisco, the only West Coast airport in the top five, is exactly on par with Midway — 12.2 percent of flights are delayed in November.
2. Chicago, O'Hare (ORD)
Yes, if you're flying out of Chicago this time of year, you're pretty much wedged between a rock and a hard place. O'Hare is infamous for its delays — probably in part because of Chicago weather — and in fact is the worst airports for delays on average. In November, though, it's number two, with 12.5 percent of flights getting delayed.
1. New York, Newark (EWR)
That's right, Chicago isn't the only city with two airports at the top. During November, Newark is the worst airport for delays with 13.9 percent of its flights not taking off on time. That's roughly one in seven. But don't worry, New Yorkers, there's always JFK!
Interestingly, flight delays in November are typically a bit better than they are on average for the year, possibly because weather during months like January and February is even worse, and possible because December is also bad for travel. But still, no matter what the numbers say, Thanksgiving delays are still the worst.
You can find out the other airports in the top 10, as well as some of the surprise best airports, at Vocativ here.