Travelers who decided to board a plane this summer have experienced it. The risk of cancellations and delays is far from over. From thousands of suitcases clustered in the corridors of London’s Heathrow to lengthy delays and cancellations at Toronto’s international air terminal, 10 airports topped the list of the worst for delays this summer.
Last month, Heathrow Airport announced a passenger limit of 100,000 departures per day until September 11. On Tuesday August 2nd, British Airways that it was suspending the sale of tickets on short-haul flights from Heathrow in response to the airport’s passenger cap.
In a statement, British Airways said it will take “responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximize rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry.”
According to data compiled by flight tracking portal Flightaware, several factors influenced airports in the U.S., Canada and Europe to come out on the black board this time of year. Staff shortages at some airlines, coupled with the unpredictable ravages of climate change, are some of the causes that forced airlines to reschedule flights.
Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada took the top spot. More than half of its flights scheduled between May 26 and July 19 were delayed. The same terminal ranks fourth in flight cancellations worldwide, which has prompted carriers such as Air Canada to relax its policies on ticket changes without surcharges.
The company also cut its seasonal operating hours to reduce schedule disruptions. But passengers in Toronto are not the only ones experiencing long waits for boarding; European travelers have also had to endure unusually long delays. Seven of the top 10 airports with the most delays are in the old continent.
According to Flight Aware, airports in Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt and Paris experience the worst delays. Several videos of Heathrow Airport in the British capital with thousands of unchecked bags went around the world, forcing the air terminal’s management to ask airlines to halt ticket sales.
The United States did not fare so badly, only Orlando airport made it to the list, although in Florida several airports point to delays at this time of the year, according to data from the same agency.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that he’s seeing air travel improvements, but he still expects airlines to do better. “We are counting on airlines to deliver for passengers and to be able to service the tickets that they sell,” Buttigieg said.
Top 10 airports with the most summer delays
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada): 52.5%
- Frankfurt Airport (Germany): 45.4%
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (France): 43.2%
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands): 41.5%
- London Gatwick Airport (United Kingdom): 41.1%
- Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom): 40.5%
- Munich Airport (Germany): 40.4%
- Athens International Airport (Greece): 37.9%
- Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Australia): 34.2%
- Orlando International Airport (United States): 33.4%
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in China’s Guangdong Province is the world’s No. 1 for cancellations this summer. According to FlightAware data, the airport has had more than 7% of flights canceled. China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport also rank in the top 10.
Europe had several airports on the global list for delays, while only oAmsterdam Schiphol appears among the top 10 for cancellations from May 26 to July 19. Australia and Indonesia also have one entry each in the top 10 for cancellations. In the case of the US, three airports also rank in the top 10 of flights canceled. New York-area airports Newark and LaGuardia at Nos. 2 and 3, while Washington’s National Airport appears at No. 8.
Top 10 world airports for cancellations this summer
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (China): 7.9%
- Newark Liberty International Airport (US): 7.4%
- LaGuardia Airport (US): 7%
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada): 6.5%
- Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (Indonesia): 6.2%
- Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Australia): 5.9%
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (China): 5.2%
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (US): 5%
- Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (China): 4.6%
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands): 3.9%