Area airports among best, worst for delays

Kristi King,

WASHINGTON – Three area airports are among the best and worst for flight delays in the United States.

Floating near the top of the best list is Reagan National at No. 3 and Dulles International at No. 5.

One mark off the worst of the worst is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Travel + Leisure bases the rankings on flights leaving 15 minutes or more behind schedule over 12 months between last summer and this summer.

Being named the second-worst U.S. airport for departure delays isn’t that big of a deal for BWI though, according to spokesman Jonathan Dean, who says departure delays aren’t a particularly relevant statistic.

Airlines often compensate for departure delays by making up time in the air — even delayed flights can arrive on time or even early. Dean tells WTOP arrival times at destinations are more important than departure delays, and BWI does much better with arrival time performance.

Topping the best list for the fewest delays is Sea-Tac Airport near Seattle. Topping the worst list for the most delays is Chicago Midway Airport.

To limit the likelihood of experiencing departure delays, travelers can try to avoid booking connecting flights in cities prone to summer storms and severe winters.

And book flights as early in the morning as possible to help ensure planes get where they need to be before weather or mechanical breakdowns create issues.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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