Best and Worst Airports, Ranked by On-Time Flights

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If you’re planning a holiday and worried about flight delays ruining your plans, there are some airports you should be confident in using—and others you should probably try to avoid.

Not all airports have the same record of punctuality, and the latest annual report, published Tuesday, by AirHelp, a claims management company that assists travelers dealing with canceled or delayed flights, has crunched the numbers to show it.

According to Airhelp’s ranking of 239 airports across 69 countries, the airports with the highest percentage of on-time flights—based on flights taken between May 1, 2023, and April 30, 2024—are listed below. AirHelp considers a flight “on time” if it arrives no later than 15 minutes after its published arrival time, and the company says it doesn’t use estimates for its database but rather the “most authoritative” figures.

1. Cape Town Airport, South Africa (86%)

2. Brasília–Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek Airport, Brazil (86%)

3. Panama City Tocumen, Panama (86%)

4. Chubu Centrair Airport, Japan (85%)

5. Osaka Itami Airport, Japan (85%)

6. Salt Lake City Airport, United States (84%)

7. Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, United States (84%)

8. Doha Hamad Airport, Qatar (83%)

9. Belém/Val-de-Cans Airport, Brazil (83%)

10. Bogotá El Dorado Airport, Colombia (83%)

11. Cartagena Rafael Núñez Airport, Colombia (83%)

12. Medellin Jose Maria Cordova Airport, Colombia (83%)

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Meanwhile, the six airports AirHelp ranked last on flight punctuality, listed below, each had less than 60% of their flights “on time.”

239. Tunis Carthage Airport, Tunisia (48%)

238. London Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom (57%)

237. Antalya Airport, Turkey (58%)

236. Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport, Portugal (58%)

235. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia (59%)

234. Dalaman Airport, Turkey (59%)

Read More: These Are the World’s Busiest Flight Routes and Airports

AirHelp has emphasized the economic and environmental costs of flight delays and cancellations: In the U.S., they are estimated to cost the economy up to $34 billion a year, while flight disruptions cause greater carbon emissions due to longer flying or taxiing times.

In 2023, the most common reason for U.S. domestic flight delays, accounting for 40% of all delays, was a previous aircraft arriving late—affecting subsequent flights using the same aircraft, in a sort of domino effect started by an earlier delay—according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Other common reasons for flight delays include air carrier delay (36.4%) and national aviation system delay (18.1%). Extreme weather accounted for 5.2% of flight delays, while 0.2% of delays were due to security reasons.

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AirHelp also gives an overall ranking of the best airports that factors in travelers’ opinions on the quality of customer service as well as of shops at the airport, in addition to flight punctuality (which counts for 60% of the overall score). Coming on top this year is Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar—which similarly topped another annual list of best airports released earlier this year, ranked by Skytrax. Unlike AirHelp, Skytrax’s ranking does not consider flight punctuality, instead assessing airports with customer surveys on an extensive range of factors including ease of access, immigration queuing times, and WiFi service. Hamad Airport is one of only two airports—along with Japan’s Tokyo Narita Airport—to be ranked in the top 10 of both Skytrax and AirHelp’s lists.

Other highly-rated airports that didn’t rank high on AirHelp’s list include Singapore’s Changi Airport, which had for years been crowned the world’s best by Skytrax but was ranked 24th by AirHelp due in large part to its 65th best flight punctuality, with just 77% of flights on time; Dubai International Airport, which was named the world’s most luxurious airport in another report earlier this year but 64th by AirHelp, with 72% of flights on time; and Munich International Airport, which the Skytrax World Airport Awards recognized in April as the best in central Europe, but AirHelp ranked 161st overall, with just 70% of flights on time.

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