Behind the Airport Misery Index

How we determine our airport rankings.


U.S. News computed the Airport Misery Index by starting with a list of the 47 busiest airports. For each, we compiled data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics regarding on-time performance and load factor, which is the percentage of seats filled with passengers. We ranked the airports according to each of those variables, then added the two rankings together, weighting them equally.

That produced an "index" number for each airport. Then we ranked the airports according to the index number, which is how we arrived at our final list, with 1 being the best and 47 being the worst. At the No. 1 airport, San Jose, Calif., flights departed on schedule 83 percent of the time and were 77 percent full, on average. At the worst airport, Chicago's O'Hare, only 66 percent of flights departed on time, and planes were 83 percent full.

On-time performance data are for all of 2007; load factor data are for the first 10 months of 2007.