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Running Late? 10 Worst U.S. Airports for Chasing the Gate

A study looks at a problem that plagues every business traveler at one time or another, or possibly all the time

January 31, 2020

We have all been there – leaving plenty of time for driving to the airport and … Bam! Traffic sits, barely moving and for no apparent reason. There is no way out. You’re stuck in a line that is all but guaranteeing that you will be sitting there or not far from where you are as your plane takes off. Sometimes there is hope – the plane may be delayed or the airport staff is accustomed to emergencies like this and has ways to usher your through to your gate.

FinanceBuzz looked at this problem and recently released its study of the 10 worst airports for late travelers, with Newark International Airport topping the list. Also included are the 10 best airports, those where you’re most likely to make your flight even if you are running behind.

“There are two types of air travelers: those who think arriving at the airport any later than a full three hours before their scheduled flight time is ‘cutting it close’ and those who calculate the absolute latest they can arrive and still make it to their gate before the final boarding call,” said Tracy Odell, VP of Content at FinanceBuzz. “This study is for the latter group. We looked at 12 different data points for the nation’s 45 busiest airports. Our analysis revealed the airports where you’re most likely to miss your flight when you’re running late, and also where you have the best chance of making your flight.”

Running late? These are the 10 airports where you’re least likely to make your flight:

On the other hand, here are the 10 airports where you have the best chance of making it onto your flight even if you arrive to the airport late:

The report also outlines tips for how to make your flight even if you’re running late.

To get to these findings FinanceBuzz analyzed 12 different metrics for the 45 busiest airports in the United States (based on total passenger departures for 2018). Factors include: TSA wait times, number of departing passengers, on-time departure percentage, number of gates, estimated terminal square footage, and whether the airport offers CLEAR. Each airport received a rating of 1 to 5 for each of the 12 factors, then a weighted average based on FinanceBuzz’s proprietary methodology was calculated.