The Worst U.S. Airports For Winter Travel

Winter Storm Elliott and its dreaded bomb cyclone are now in the rear view mirror, but there are still two months of winter ahead. With that in mind, the travel deal-finding site and app Hopper has crunched the data to rank the worst airports to fly in and out of through the end of February.

Unfortunately, flight cancellations and delays in one part of the country can impact airports in other regions, since airlines reuse planes and crews throughout the day. A flight canceled in the morning in, say, Chicago can have a ripple effect if that aircraft or crew was slated for a different flight out later that day.

Consequently, it’s always smart to book the earliest possible flight in the day, since a flight that is canceled or delayed can cause a chain reaction for other flights that rely on the same resources.

Mountain West

Perhaps unsurprisingly, airports in the Mountain West and regional airports in Aspen and Vail, Colorado, top the list as the two worst U.S. airports to fly through during winter, with Pitkin County Airport in Aspen seeing 34.8% of flights disrupted. In winter, Eagle County Regional Airport in Vail sees 22% of flights either canceled or delayed more than an hour.

Another small airport in a ski hub snags the number 4 spot. The Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming sees 17.3% of flights disrupted during the coldest months.

Comparatively, Denver International Airport sees 13.6% of its flights disrupted during the winter, making it the second-worst major U.S. airport to travel through.


In the Northeast, three regional airports make the top 10 list of worst winter airports. Vermont’s Burlington International Airport sees 15.8% of its flights disrupted, followed by Greater Rochester International Airport and Westchester County Airport with 15% and 14.9% of disrupted flights, respectively.

In terms of large hubs, the worst major U.S. airport for winter travelers is Boston Logan, which sees 14.2% of flights disrupted during the winter.

Also in the Northeast, Buffalo Niagara International Airport comes in as the tenth-worst airport overall with 14.1% of its flights canceled or delayed by at least an hour during the winter.

North Central

Winter’s bitterly cold temperatures in Fargo, North Dakota, have been made famous through the eponymous film and TV series. Hector International Airport sees 21.3% of flights disrupted in winter, making it the third worst winter airport on Hopper’s list.

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airports both made the list for major airports, with 12.1% and 11% of winter flight disruptions, respectively.


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