Infographic of the Day: Which Airports Are Worst for Delays?

airport delays

Perhaps you just recently got on a plane to see loved ones. And if so, you were likely delayed, or at least massively annoyed. This infographic by The Window Seat won’t steal your time back, but it’ll at least distract you from the lingering pain.

It shows, roughly, what airports under- and over-perform, relative to their peers. What’s surprising is how vastly different similarly-sized airports can be, in their on-time performance.

Airports of similar size are shown in similar colors. Then, the size of the bubbles shows the total delay minutes, on any specific day. Ignore the ordering of the airports; just compare the similarly colored ones with each other:

holiday departures

Nevermind the bone-headed graphic move of not grouping the similar airports with each other. And we’d like of the brackets for airport class were precise, so you could see if it’s just size driving delays.

But what’s clever about the graphic is the data, and specifically total delay minutes instead of the typical metric, on-time percentages. Total minutes is probably a much better indicator of actually pain caused by delays.


You can readily think of how this graphic could be tweaked into something really phenomenal. For one: How do delay minutes compare against total numbers of delayed planes? That way, you’d get a general sense of what airports are likely to leave you trapped on a taxiing plane for ten hours without a working bathroom. I’d bet that matters a lot more to people than which airports are likely to get you in ten minutes late.

See more Infographics of the Day.

[Via WindowSeat]

Top image: / CC BY 2.0