Travel Report: US Airports Prone to Flight Delays and Cancellations This Hurricane Season

June 4, 2018
US Travel Report. A large jet parked at an airport terminal with walkway attached.

In an effort to help empower passengers to make more informed decisions while traveling during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season (June-October), InsureMyTrip predicts which US airports are most prone to delays and cancellations and what passengers should know about airline policies.


  • Researchers ranked the on-time performance for the busiest airports in the Eastern US, the part of the country that is most impacted by tropical storms.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is ranked the best overall for handling delays and cancellations during hurricane season. It is also the busiest.
  • Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, and John F. Kennedy International are ranked the worst overall for delays and cancellations during hurricane season. All three airports are twice as likely to report a weather delay than any other airport on the list.
  • Passengers should anticipate flight disruptions when a storm develops. Nationwide, flight cancellations soared for major US airports in August and September last year due to storms.

This list ranks the overall on-time performance for the 25 busiest airports in the Eastern US during hurricane season.

Overall Ranking
(Worst to Best)
1 Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International
2 New York, NY: LaGuardia
3 New York, NY: John F. Kennedy International
4 Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston
5 Washington, DC: Ronald Reagan Washington National
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth International
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
8 Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia International
9 Boston, MA: Logan International
10 Baltimore, MD: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
11 Dallas, TX: Dallas Love Field
12 Orlando, FL: Orlando International
13 Houston, TX: William P Hobby
14 Miami, FL: Miami International
15 Washington, DC: Washington Dulles International
16 Fort Myers, FL: Southwest Florida International
17 Raleigh/Durham, NC: Raleigh-Durham International
18 Austin, TX: Austin – Bergstrom International
19 Tampa, FL: Tampa International
20 Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglas International
21 Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh International
22 Nashville, TN: Nashville International
23 San Antonio, TX: San Antonio International
24 New Orleans, LA: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
25 Atlanta, GA: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International

Peak months for flight cancellations
Peak months for hurricane and tropical storm activity also appears to correlate with a higher number of canceled flights nationwide. For example, the highest percentage of all flights canceled in 2017 was reported during August and September. These months also experienced high storm activity along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast.

Month Arrival Delays Delayed (%) Flights Canceled Canceled (%) Diverted Flight Operations
January 97,699 21.71% 8,886 1.97% 1,486 450,017
February 64,264 15.65% 6,312 1.54% 980 410,517
March 88,638 18.14% 8,527 1.75% 917 488,597
April 92,143 19.67% 7,398 1.58% 954 468,329
May 96,680 19.87% 4,039 0.83% 944 486,483
June 110,719 22.40% 5,379 1.09% 1,306 494,266
July 110,081 21.62% 5,757 1.13% 1,555 509,070
August 104,709 20.51% 11,007 2.16% 1,286 510,451
September 58,914 12.84% 15,343 3.34% 791 458,727
October 69,027 14.39% 3,303 0.69% 747 479,797
November 51,298 11.30% 1,418 0.31% 575 454,162
December 85,302 18.38% 5,324 1.15% 989 464,205
2017 (Annual) 1,029,474 18.14% 82,693 1.46% 12,530 5,674,621

Hurricanes and Airline Cancellation Policies
Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight due to bad weather, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.

Airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight, including:

  • Hotel fees
  • All-inclusive vacation or resort fees
  • Cruise payment
  • A pre-paid tour or safari
  • Concert or entertainment tickets

Travelers concerned about protecting any pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses should buy travel insurance.

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