The Worst Airports for Winter Travel: Maybe Just Stay in Boston

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is the worst airport for winter travel, says
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is the worst airport for winter travel, says –Bob Strong/Reuters

Logan Airport is one of the 20 most popular airports in the country for December to March travel, according to the flight data site And 26 percent of Logan’s flights this winter will be delayed.

According to Hopper, Boston is 12th on its list of “The Worst Airports for Winter Travel.’’ So…things could be far worse. But not much.

JetBlue blamed bad weather for delays at Logan in January. —Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Logan could, for example, be Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which has a 42 percent delay rate.

At Denver International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, more than one third of flights are delayed during winter months. And if you are thinking of flying from Boston to the Big Apple this winter, you might want to look at bus or train schedules. Newark International Airport is 3rd on the list with 37 percent delays; La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport aren’t much better, ranking 7th and 10th, respectively.


The best of the worst is Honolulu International Airport, with a 14 percent delayed-flight rate, and Miami International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with 22 percent.

Honolulu has great weather year-round, while Boston’s winters are full of snow. But other warm-weather airports were plagued by delays. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Tampa International Airport were fifth and sixth on the delays list, faring worse than cold-weather airports like Logan, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Hopper attributes the high rate of delays in warm winter states to snowbirds, who migrate to warmer spots during the winter.

So here’s what we propose: Stay in Boston! We have plenty of winter fun for everyone.

Go skiing, sledding, or snowboarding at one of many top-notch New England resorts, eat dinner while viewing Boston in panorama at the Top of the Hub, hit up a museum (even a free one!), enjoy a hot cup of chowder, stay in a romantic mountain retreat, or catch a show.

Or get the quintessential Boston winter experience by strapping on skates and gliding across the Frog Pond, the skating rink located in America’s oldest public park, Boston Common. Your delay would involve staring at the gorgeous State House while waiting in line for hot cocoa, as opposed to lying face-down on an airport bench with your carry-on doubling as a pillow.

People ice skating on the Frog Pond in the Boston Common this past March. —Jim Davis/The Boston Globe
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