February 05, 2020

New FinanceBuzz Study Finds the 10 Worst U.S. Airports for Late Travelers

FinanceBuzz released its study of the 10 worst airports for late travelers, with Newark International Airport topping the list. Also included are the 10 best airports, those where you're most likely to make your flight even if you are running behind.

"There are two types of air travelers: those who think arriving at the airport any later than a full three hours before their scheduled flight time is 'cutting it close' and those who calculate the absolute latest they can arrive and still make it to their gate before the final boarding call," said Tracy Odell, VP of Content at FinanceBuzz. "This study is for the latter group. We looked at 12 different data points for the nation's 45 busiest airports. Our analysis revealed the airports where you're most likely to miss your flight when you're running late, and also where you have the best chance of making your flight."

Running late? These are the 10 airports where you're least likely to make your flight:

Ranking Airport
1 Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
2 Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT)
3 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
4 Orlando International Airport (MCO)
5 Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
6 San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
7 Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
8 Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
9 Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)
10 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

On the other hand, here are the 10 airports where you have the best chance of making it onto your flight even if you arrive to the airport late:

Ranking Airport
1 Hobby Airport (HOU)
2 Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
3 Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
4 San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
5 Nashville International Airport (BNA)
6 Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
8 Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
9 Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
10 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

How to make your flight (even if you're running late)

There are so many things that can go wrong that can have you playing catch up once you get to the airport — you oversleep, your rideshare driver is late, you hit traffic on the way to the airport, you get the picture. And these things can happen to all of us, even those of us who are typically punctual.

So, with that in mind, here are some tips to help you make your flight even if you're running late.

1. Get TSA PreCheck or CLEAR. Better yet, get both!

TSA wait times held the most weight in our study, and for good reason. It’s often the biggest obstacle between you and your flight. Fortunately, you can avoid those lengthy and unpredictable lines with TSA PreCheck and/or CLEAR.

Each of these services addresses different parts of the security process — TSA PreCheck speeds up the security process, whereas CLEAR speeds up the ID-checking process — so having both will give you the best chance at catching your flight if time stands against you.

If you don’t yet have PreCheck or CLEAR, many credit cards offer reimbursements for application and membership costs:

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and The Platinum Card from American Express all offer up to $100 in reimbursement for the cost of the TSA PreCheck or GlobalEntry application fee every four years.
  • The American Express Green Card, on the other hand, offers a $100 CLEAR credit each year.
  • Or, if you’re just interested in trying CLEAR, you can also sign up for a two-month free trial.

2. Travel with a carry-on only to avoid the check-in lines

If you can check-in online and can trade your checked luggage for a backpack and carry-on, you can head straight for the security line (or CLEAR and TSA PreCheck lines) once you get inside the airport.

Depending on how many people are waiting to check-in or check a bag, this can save you a significant amount of time. Not to mention, you can also save money by avoiding baggage fees.

3. Know what you packed to avoid surprises

If you don’t have TSA PreCheck and are subject to the regular TSA security line, make sure you know what you’ve packed and where it’s located in your carry-on luggage.

Aside from having to remove your shoes, jacket, and belt, you also have to remove any laptops or large electronics and food from your bags. If you place these items in an easy-to-reach location prior to heading to the airport, you won’t waste any precious time trying to fish them out from the bottom of your bag as everyone waits impatiently patiently behind you.

Copyright 2020 FinanceBuzz. All rights reserved. From https://financebuzz.com.

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