DC airports among worst for Christmas travel

ARLINGTON, Va. — Where you fly and which airline you use could impact how likely you will actually reach your destination around the holidays.

An analysis done by MileCards.com — a site that compares travel rewards cards of the nation’s 50 busiest airports — found that 1.5 percent of flights are typically canceled around Christmas. The worst days for cancellations are Dec. 26 and Dec. 27.

However, Spirit and JetBlue flights were twice as likely to be canceled than the average, the only national airlines above average.

Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines were both the best performing.

The analysis attributed JetBlue’s high cancellation rate to its high concentration in the Northeast, often prone to Christmas snow.

Regional airlines also are prone to frequent cancellations. Airlines, such as American Eagle, that contract out their flights to smaller operators were three times more likely to cancel a flight.

Where you fly also makes a big difference.

Of the 50 airports analyzed, Reagan National was eighth worst and Dulles International was 16th worst for holiday cancellations. BWI Marshall Airport was the 24th best.

MileCards.com used Department of Transportation data for the years 2010 to 2015 to crunch the numbers.

Topping the list of the worst was Newark, New Jersey. Flights between D.C. and Newark are among the worst in the country, with more than 15 percent of flights canceled around Christmas.

The second-worst trip to and from D.C. is Cincinnati. Roughly 12 percent of those flights getting canceled.

The best airports to avoid cancellations are Honolulu, Oakland, and Seattle — cities that typically don’t see much snow.

The best-performing connecting hubs are Salt Lake City and Denver.

Airports with worst holiday cancellation rates:

  1. Newark
  2. New York — LaGuardia
  3. New York — Kennedy
  4. Chicago — O’Hare
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Boston
  7. Cleveland
  8. Washington — Reagan National
  9. Raleigh-Durham
  10. Milwaukee

See the full list of most canceled flights on MileCards.com.

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