FLIGHT PATTERNS

The 25 Worst Airports in America, From Newark to Dallas (Photos)

Plan ahead: The Daily Beast crunches the numbers on the hubs to avoid—and the ones without the lines.

It’s that time of year again: Thanksgiving, a chance to catch up with friends and family, gorge on turkey, and endure an exhausting travel schedule. That also means it’s time for The Daily Beast’s annual rundown of the worst airports in America. You might not be able to avoid these terminals, but at least you can factor in extra travel time and have a few stress balls handy.

To find the 25 Worst Airports in America, we started by looking at the busiest airports, based on Airports Council International data, for an initial pool of nearly 50 sites. We then took into account six factors: on-time performance for arrivals and departures for 2012, and on-time performance for arrivals and departures during the most recent busy travel holidays (Presidents’ Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, winter holidays), with data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics—accounting for 80 percent of the final ranking. The remaining 20 percent was split between the most recent airport comfort and amenities study by JD Power and Associates—with scores re-ranked within the pool of nearly 50 airports—and the median maximum security wait time during peak periods, with data from Flight Explorer. 

San Antonio Int’l (SAT)

San Antonio

On-time departures, 2012: 88 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 85 percent

On-time holiday departures: 84 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 87 percent

Max. security wait time: 19 minutes

Amenities rank: 28th

Jessica McGowan / Getty Images

Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL)

Atlanta

On-time departures, 2012: 84 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 85 percent

On-time holiday departures: 88 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 86 percent

Max. security wait time: 22 minutes

Amenities rank: 34th

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Sacramento Int’l. (SMF)

Sacramento, Calif.

On-time departures, 2012: 84 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 85 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 86 percent

Max. security wait time: 20 minutes

Amenities rank: 8th

Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

Lambert-St. Louis Int’l. (STL)

St. Louis

On-time departures, 2012: 86 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 87 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 86 percent

Max. security wait time: 28 minutes

Amenities rank: 24th

Mark Duncan / AP Photo

Cleveland Hopkins Int’l. (CLE)

Cleveland

On-time departures, 2012: 89 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 86 percent

On-time holiday departures: 82 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 85 percent

Max. security wait time: 20 minutes

Amenities rank: 30th

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

San Diego Int’l. (SAN)

San Diego

On-time departures, 2012: 85 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 84 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 87 percent

Max. security wait time: 20 minutes

Amenities rank: 27th

Tim Boyle / Getty Images

Midway Int’l. (MDW)

Chicago

On-time departures, 2012: 79 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 86 percent

On-time holiday departures: 86 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 86 percent

Max. security wait time: 11 minutes

Amenities rank: 23rd

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

Baltimore/Washington Int’l. (BWI)

Baltimore/Washington, D.C.

On-time departures, 2012: 81 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 85 percent

On-time holiday departures: 86 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 84 percent

Max. security wait time: 14 minutes

Amenities rank: 11th

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Ronald Reagan National (DCA)

Washington, D.C.

On-time departures, 2012: 86 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 85 percent

Max. security wait time: 17 minutes

Amenities rank: 33rd

Sun Sentinel / Getty Images

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l. (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale

On-time departures, 2012: 84 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 86 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 85 percent

Max. security wait time: 21 minutes

Amenities rank: 28th

Gabriel Bouys / Getty Images

McCarran Int’l. (LAS)

Las Vegas

On-time departures, 2012: 82 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 86 percent

On-time holiday departures: 86 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 86 percent

Max. security wait time: 33 minutes

Amenities rank: 25th

William P. Hobby (HOU)

Houston

On-time departures, 2012: 79 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 87 percent

On-time holiday departures: 84 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 82 percent

Max. security wait time: 10 minutes

Amenities rank: 18th

Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

Logan Int’l. (BOS)

Boston

On-time departures, 2012: 85 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 83 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 85 percent

Max. security wait time: 19 minutes

Amenities rank: 39th

Mehdi Taamallah / Getty Images

John F. Kennedy Int’l. (JFK)

New York

On-time departures, 2012: 83 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 84 percent

Max. security wait time: 25 minutes

Amenities rank: 41st

John Moore / Getty Images

Denver Int’l. (DEN)

Denver

On-time departures, 2012: 80 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 84 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 83 percent

Max. security wait time: 33 minutes

Amenities rank: 14th

Mike Mergen / Getty Images

Philadelphia Int’l. (PHL)

Philadelphia

On-time departures, 2012: 85 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 84 percent

Max. security wait time: 30 minutes

Amenities rank: 42nd

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Dallas/Fort Worth Int’l. (DFW)

Dallas/Fort Worth

On-time departures, 2012: 80 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 83 percent

On-time holiday departures: 86 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 81 percent

Max security wait time: 25 minutes

Amenities rank: 20th

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Los Angeles Int’l. (LAX)

Los Angeles

On-time departures, 2012: 83 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 85 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 83 percent

Max. security wait time: 25 minutes

Amenities rank: 44th

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Miami Int’l. (MIA)

 

Miami

On-time departures, 2012: 79 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 82 percent

On-time holiday departures: 87 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 81 percent

Max. security wait time: 31 minutes

Amenities rank: 43rd

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

La Guardia (LGA)

New York

On-time departures, 2012: 84 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 78 percent

On-time holiday departures: 81 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 83 percent

Max. security wait time: 22 minutes

Amenities rank: 46th

Paul J. Richards / Getty Images

Washington Dulles Int’l (IAD)

Washington, D.C.

On-time departures, 2012: 79 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 80 percent

On-time holiday departures: 82 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 81 percent

Max. security wait time: 22 minutes

Amenities rank: 37th

Jewel Samad / Getty Images

O’Hare Int’l. (ORD)

Chicago

On-time departures, 2012: 78 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 81 percent

On-time holiday departures: 84 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 80 percent

Max. security wait time: 31 minutes

Amenities rank: 40th

Stan Honda / Getty Images

George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)

Houston

On-time departures, 2012: 77 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 80 percent

On-time holiday departures: 82 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 77 percent

Max. security wait time: 16 minutes

Amenities rank: 22nd

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

San Francisco Int’l. (SFO)

San Francisco

On-time departures, 2012: 75 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 72 percent

On-time holiday departures: 69 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 73 percent

Max. security wait time: 9 minutes

Amenities rank: 36th

Peter Foley / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Newark Liberty Int’l (EWR)

Newark, N.J.

On-time departures, 2012: 73 percent

On-time arrivals, 2012: 70 percent

On-time holiday departures: 73 percent

On-time holiday arrivals: 73 percent

Max. security wait time: 25 minutes

Amenities rank: 45th