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These are the busiest airports for summer travel

Based on data from last year, these are the busiest airports, but they should be in a better position this year.
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 16, 2023

Think back to the travel mess from last year: Security lines that snaked for hours, constant delays and airlines canceling over 45,000 flights between June and August.

According to Haley Berg, a lead economist at the travel booking app Hopper, airports were simply "unprepared."

Using data from the flight database group Official Aviation Guide, Hopper analyzed airport traffic from June to August last year.

The nation's busiest airports — or the ones with the most departing flights and the highest volume of passengers — are Atlanta, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Dallas Fort-Worth.

Chicago's Midway International Airport also leads the nation with the highest percentage of delays and disruptions, followed by Baltimore-Washington International and Newark.

For anyone traveling to Europe, Hopper predicts Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Paris will be the busiest, while airports in Brussels, Budapest and Lisbon are likely to see the most disruptions.

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But Berg says, barring any major weather problems this summer, airlines are in a different position.

"Airlines have been conservative, only bringing back enough capacity that they can fly reliably on time," Berg said

Both airports and the government learned lessons from last summer's chaos.

The Department of Transportation says airlines added nearly 3,000 jobs in April, while the FAA created newer, faster routes along the East Coast.

Dallas Fort-Worth Airport says it invested in a new, time-saving way for arriving planes to navigate runways. And New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen introduced new legislation to deal with the continuing air traffic controller shortage.

Berg says as we enter our first year of post-pandemic summer travel, it'll likely be back to business as usual.

"We're expecting about 20% to 25% of flights to be delayed or canceled on departure in total, so disrupted, but a very, very small portion of those will actually be canceled, around 1%," Berg said.

But as always, with the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, Berg says to pack your patience because it's going to be a turbulent travel weekend.