America's Most Miserable Airports

Gauging the pain caused by late flights and crowded planes.

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The airlines have finally become profitable, but air travel keeps getting more stressful. In 2007, airlines turned in their second-worst on-time performance ever, with just 73.4 percent of flights arriving on time. And planes have never been more crowded, with an average "load factor" of 80.5 percent. In terms of cramped planes and late flights, these are dark days for air travelers.

To gauge where the pain is deepest, U.S. News has crunched government figures to develop an Airport Misery Index: a ranking that shows which airports have the best and worst combination of delayed flights and crowded planes. (View the methodology.) Here's how the nation's 47 largest airports fared:

Airport City/Name of airport Percentage of flights delayed Average load factor Misery index ranking (lower is better)
ORD Chicago: O'Hare 33.5 83.0 47
EWR Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International 32.2 82.8 46
SFO San Francisco: San Francisco International 24.3 83.5 45
DFW Dallas/Ft.Worth: Dallas/Ft. Worth International 29.3 81.8 44
MIA Miami: Miami International 26.8 82.6 43
LAS Las Vegas: Mc Carran International 23.8 84.9 42
CLT Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglas International 28.2 81.8 41
JFK New York: Kennedy International 31.0 81.2 40
ATL Atlanta: Hartsfield-Jackson 28.1 81.8 39
SEA Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International 23.5 82.8 38
DEN Denver: Denver International 23.7 82.4 37
PHL Philadelphia: Philadelphia International 30.4 80.0 36
BOS Boston: Logan International 24.8 80.5 35
DTW Detroit: Detroit Metro Wayne County 23.0 81.6 34
IAD Washington, DC: Dulles International 25.7 79.9 33
LAX Los Angeles: Los Angeles International 19.8 82.9 32
MSP Minneapolis-St. Paul: Minneapolis-St. Paul International 22.6 81.4 31
PHX Phoenix: Sky Harbor International 22.4 81.3 30
IAH Houston: Houston Intercontinental 20.3 82.4 29
LGA New York: LaGuardia 28.5 76.5 28
PIT Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh International 22.7 80.1 27
HNL Honolulu: Honolulu International 6.9 89.0 26
CVG Cincinnati: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International 22.3 80.1 25
MKE Milwaukee: General Mitchell Field 23.5 77.8 24
MCO Orlando: Orlando International 20.7 80.9 23
FLL Fort Lauderdale, FL: Fort Lauderdale International 21.5 80.5 22
MDW Chicago: Chicago Midway 26.8 73.5 21
SAN San Diego: San Diego International Lindbergh Field 17.5 82.3 20
BWI Baltimore: Baltimore/Washington International 23.3 77.2 19
SLC Salt Lake City: Salt Lake International 16.1 82.4 18
HOU Houston: William P. Hobby Airport 25.8 69.0 17
CLE Cleveland: Hopkins International 20.5 80.0 16
DAL Dallas: Dallas Love Field 24.3 71.1 15
DCA Washington, DC: Washington National 22.9 76.6 14
PDX Portland, OR: Portland International 16.4 81.7 13
SMF Sacramento, CA: Sacramento Metropolitan 19.1 79.6 12
IND Indianapolis: Indianapolis International 19.6 78.7 11
RDU Durham and Raleigh, NC: Raleigh-Durham International 22.2 75.3 10
TPA Tampa: Tampa International 18.9 78.8 9
BNA Nashville: Nashville Metropolitan 22.2 74.0 8
STL St. Louis: Lambert International 22.2 74.6 7
OAK Oakland, CA: Metropolitan Oakland International 20.3 77.0 6
SNA Santa Ana, CA: John Wayne International 18.4 78.9 5
MSY New Orleans: Louis Armstrong International 18.6 78.7 4
MCI Kansas City, MO: Kansas City International 20.4 75.1 3
MEM Memphis: Memphis International 18.8 77.1 2
SJC San Jose, CA: San Jose International 16.8 77.3 1

Sources: Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, The Boyd Group

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