‘Tis the season for holiday-related travel delays, folks. For many travelers across the country, holiday travel begins with a happy heart, a cheerful attitude, and an earnest excitement to be reunited with loved ones. But like anyone who has ever traveled during the holiday season will tell you, this kind of beginning rarely has a smooth landing. Oftentimes, a journey through airports home for the holidays will leave you feeling less like Buddy the Elf and more like Ebenezer Scrooge.
At times like this, we here at AmTrav would like to remind you that not all holiday hope is lost. Sometimes all you need to do to encounter stress-free holiday travel is to avoid a select few airports. We asked our experts what the worst airports to travel through during the holiday season are and compiled a list of their answers for you – it is the season of giving, after all.
So without further ado, here is our list of the top five airports, in no particular order, that you should try to avoid during the holidays (and yes, we checked it twice).
- O’Hare (Chicago – ORD): O’Hare airport is known for heavy air traffic, subpar weather conditions for air travel, and is currently going through employee strikes. If you have the chance to avoid O’Hare airport, we highly recommend you take that chance.
- Denver (DEN): Denver, Colorado isn’t exactly known for its sunny beaches. A mecca for snow, ice, and cold weather, this airport sees a higher-than-average number of weather delays, especially around the holidays. We recommend skipping this airport in your holiday travels.
- Newark (EWR): Newark airport is known in the industry as being one of the most jam-packed airports during the holiday season. This can (and usually does) cause a whole host of issues for travelers. Do your best to steer clear of Newark airport, but don’t sidestep over to JFK or LaGuardia (LGA) either – they’re not much better.
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale (MIA/FLL): We know what you’re thinking – how are two airports in South Florida making this list? Both Miami and Fort Lauderdale see increased traffic during the holidays due to snowbirds and a high number of tourists (who can blame them for wanting to escape the cold, right?). So unless you want to get stuck behind said snowbirds, aim for an alternate airport.
- Dallas (DFW/DAL): We understand that another southern city’s airports making this list may come as a surprise, but hear us out. Dallas’ DFW and DAL airports have an especially hard time dealing with snow. In fact, according to our experts they actually can’t handle snow at all, causing serious delays and even more serious headaches. Bah Humbug.
Los Angeles (LAX) and Boston (BOS): Los Angeles and Boston are our honorable mentions. Both LAX and BOS are well-traveled hubs and will have very long security lines during the holidays. Plus, with being major hubs, the cancellation and delay rates are much higher than your other smaller airports. So we suggest taking a look at some alternative routes and airports.
We hope this list comes in handy when you’re planning your holiday travel this year and in the years to come. With insider information like this, you can exchange your travel woes for good tidings and cheer. Now when someone says it’s the most wonderful time of the year, you’ll be able to agree.