5. John F. Kennedy International Airport
At New York’s Kennedy International, 24.66 percent of all flights landed there late in 2011, and 22.49 left late. But unreliability is only one factor leading some to consider it to be one of the worst in which to make a connection.
Frommers.com, the website of the traveler’s guide book series, included it in its “10 Worst Airport Terminals” feature published in January. It called the airport’s Terminal 3 “the worst single airport terminal in America,” and cited “an utter lack of food and shopping options…hallways that could have been designed by M.C. Escher” and “a sense that the cleaning crew gave up in despair a while ago.”
4. Logan International Airport
Boston’s Logan International Airport, the largest airport in New England, had a banner year in 2011, when almost 29 million passengers used it. Unfortunately, a whopping 26.35 percent of flights didn’t get there when they were supposed to, and 21.11 had takeoff delays.
3. LaGuardia Airport
Together with Kennedy International and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International, New York's LaGuardia is part of the largest airport system in the United States, and the second largest in the world after London.
With that much traffic at the airport and the others in its vicinity, it’s not surprising there are frequent delays. Accordingly, 27.82 percent of flights arrived late and 22.49 percent left late.
LaGuardia was also ranked the worst major airport in the U.S. by the Zagat Survey in 2010, and in January, Frommer’s singled out the airport’s U.S. Airways terminal as “dull and sad.”
2. San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is the second-largest airport in California after Los Angeles International Airport. The terminal is easily accessible from various points in the Bay Area via mass transit, and the airport operates AirTrain, a completely automated train system connecting the terminals.
Inside the airport, the atmosphere is decidedly less pleasant. One is statistically likely to see at least a few impatient passengers waiting for delayed flights to land, as these account for 28.62 percent of all arrivals. As for departures, 23.72 percent took off later than scheduled.
1. Newark Liberty International Airport
When it comes to on-time arrivals, Newark Liberty International Airport has the worst record of any U.S. airport. A whopping one in three flights — 33.28 percent — arrived late. It also has the worst record for on-time departures, with 27.03 percent taking off later than scheduled.
According to an August 2011 article on the “Consumer Reports” website, the two most chronically delayed flights in the U.S. both originate from Newark. Both flights go to Atlanta during rush hour, both flights have an average delay of one hour and 21 minutes, and both flights are delayed between 50 percent and 60 percent of the time.
Frommer’s was also unkind in its assessment of the airport itself in January, particularly Terminal B. “The airport idiotically puts security before individual piers in Terminals A and B, which means that rather than have a whole terminal's food and shopping to entertain you, you're stuck out on a single pier,” the article said.
Click here to see the worst airports for connections.