Fort Lauderdale, Orlando airports knocked for slow departures Memorial Day weekend
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in top 10 of worst airports for departure delays during Memorial Day weekend.

AP Fort Lauderdale airport flood
Miami International Airport has one of the better rates for timely takeoffs during Memorial Day weekend.

With Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial beginning of Summer, it brings intense travel demands and some Florida airports will be some of the busiest in the country.

The extended weekend draws some of the heaviest crowds to airports, which can result in substantial delays and cancellations. The Orlando and Fort Lauderdale international airports are among the most notorious for those setbacks, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report as analyzed by JW Surety Bonds.

Travel advisors are warning flight passengers to be sure to give themselves ample time when going to the airport because there is a notable chance they will run into some delays.

The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport usually sees about 21.2% of all flight departures delayed through Memorial Day weekend. That’s the sixth worst in the country for the holiday stretch.

The list of best and worst airports for delays and on-time flight schedules ended up placing Orlando International Airport at seventh in the country for most flight departure delays. The Central Florida hub sees flights delayed about 20% of the time during Memorial Day weekend.

San Francisco had the worst rate of delays in the country for departing flights, at 27% facing some sort of postponement. That was followed by Newark, New Jersey, and Boston, respectively, filling out the top 3.

On the flip side, Miami International Airport was highly ranked for prompt departures at that travel hub. It was ranked the ninth best airport for timely departures during Memorial Day weekend, with an 81.8% rate of timely takeoffs.

Orlando also made the top 20 list of most reliable airports for prompt departures, despite having some slowdowns as well. Orlando was ranked 18th in the country for Memorial Day weekend departures, as 79.2% of flights take off on time.

Salt Lake City was ranked first in America for most reliable departures, with 87.5% of all scheduled flights leaving on time during Memorial Day weekend.

Travel advisors encourage travelers using airlines during the Memorial Day holiday span to take early flights if they can. Flights leaving between 6 to 7 a.m. have a 96.4% chance of leaving on time, according to the analysis.

Late afternoon or early evening departure times can be met with many more delays. The hour between 2 to 3 p.m. at airports tends to be the worst time for takeoffs, with on-time departures dipping as low as 64.8%.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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