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These Are The 5 U.S. Airports With The Most Flight Cancellations

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The pandemic may be over but it still has lasting effects on travel. Back when widespread panic was prevalent, travel delays and cancellations were all but guaranteed.

People using the moving sidewalk in Newark airport

Even though the travel industry has bounced back immensely in 2023, there are still many places catching up, whether it's in the United States or abroad.

Certain places have had more struggles than others, so travelers should be aware of what they may experience at different airports.

Data has been gathered and published recently by the Department of Transportation (DOT), which they do annually. The likelihood of flight disruptions rank differently from 2021 to 2022. 

According to these statistics, flight cancellations are most likely to occur at these 5 airports based on the total number of canceled flights:


Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) – Newark, New Jersey

Newark’s international airport comes in ranked number 5 one of the worst offenders for flight cancellations.

This New Jersey airport had a total of 6,253 flights taken off the schedule last year. 

As one of United’s main hubs as a gateway into New Jersey or neighboring New York, this is important news to consider for jet setters.

Alternative airports in the region are:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – New York City, NY
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)- New York City, NY
  • Long Island Macarthur Airport (ISP) – Islip/Long Island, NY
  • New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) – New Windsor, NY
newark liberty international airport

Denver International Airport (DEN) – Denver, Colorado

Colorado’s largest airport ranked fourth in the most flight cancellations last year. DOT reported 7,348 canceled flights for this airport.

Many airlines fly out of this major airport, but there is an alternative airport just over an hour's drive away from Denver.

This smaller airport has a much better success rate in taking off on time:

  • Colorado Springs Airport – Colorado Springs, CO

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united airlines passengers at Denver airport

Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is home to 2 different airports, but O’hare takes the cake in terms of more flight cancellations.

DOT’s data showed this major airport had 7,444 flight cancellations on record. 

Those who want to play the odds can fly out of Chicago’s other airport:

  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) 

Although, travelers should be aware that Midway is still high in the rankings at number 18 for most cancellations.

Chicago as a whole is a wonderful place to visit, but the journey here may be frustrating if flying through ORD or MDW.

inside Chicago o'hare airport

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Dallas, Texas

One of the Lone Star State’s biggest airports has also had some of the biggest challenges in America in terms of reaching the clouds on time.

Those with DFW on their boarding pass may also experience frustrations with their itinerary. According to DOT, this airport had over 8,000 flight cancelations totaling a staggering 8,188.

Luckily for travelers, there is a more reliable airport in Dallas with far fewer reported schedule changes:

  • Dallas Love Field (DAL) 

This much smaller alternative option did not crack the top 20 in terms of total flight cancellations, so travelers can feel more at ease than choosing a flight out of DFW.

pilot walking in DFW airport

LaGuardia Airport (LGA) – New York City, New York

One of New York’s most populous airports may not be the most popular in terms of traveler satisfaction.

DOT reported LGA also cracked the 8,000 threshold and had a walloping 8,795 total flights canceled.

Many major airlines fly out of LGA, and travelers may want to consider other options. 

terminal C at Laguardia airport

Unfortunately, a couple of New York City’s most convenient airports are ranked among the worst for flight cancellations.

Those who are coming in or out of the Big Apple’s vicinity may not have the best of luck arriving on time.

Both Newark (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA) are at the bottom of the barrel for those expecting to get where they need to be in a timely fashion.

Statue of Liberty in front of skyline

As big of a tourist destination as New York City continues to be, travelers may want to compare other airports in the area before picking between this LaGuardia and Newark Liberty.

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