LA’s Best & Worst Airports

“Over the river and through the wood, to Grandmother’s house we go,” is a classic holiday song romanticizing the joy of Thanksgiving travel. In the 21st century, we’ve abandoned sleighs for minivans, airplanes, and headaches. Air travel is especially fraught with anxiety; a missed flight, a delayed departure, or a cancellation can send even the best laid plans into a tailspin. The LA region is teeming with airports and whether you chose to depart from LAX or Ontario is probably based in part on traffic patterns and proximity, rather than their on-time flight statistics. Here at Hopper, we’re numbers nerds, so we wanted to dig a little deeper into the data to rank the LA region airports on on time departures, weather delays, and cancellations to see how they all stack up. So without further ado, from best to worst, we give you: LA’s airports.

LA/Ontario Airport



LA/Ontario Airport

photo credit: Ken Lund via photopin cc

ONT Ontario: LA’s second smallest airport, racked up wins or close seconds in a couple key categories. ONT had an 88.65% on time departure rate, versus worst ranked LAX’s 83%. If there is a delay, expect to wait just 6.8 minutes on average. Ontario saw fewer than 1% of flights cancelled, and weather delayed just 10% of flights. Just 35 miles east of Los Angeles and 36 miles from Disneyland, it’s also just a little over an hour from Palm Springs and one of the best options for access to Joshua Tree National Park. With great statistics and a killer location, Ontario airport is on the up and up.

 

Bob Hope Airport



Bob Hope Airport

photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} via photopin cc BUR, Burbank: Bob Hope holds its own in several categories. Expect the shortest departure delays in the LA area, only 5.86 minutes on average, and very few weather delays (5.5% of flights in 2011 got held up by stormy weather). In fact, 88% of Bob Hope’s flights took off on time. The only place Burbank struggles is in cancellations. In 2011 close to 2% of its 15,323 flights were cancelled, the worst percentage in the LA region. So basically, at Burbank if your flight isn’t cancelled, you’ll probably leave on time. Still, Burbank has some of the most affordable flights in the LA area and at only 15 miles from downtown LA (even closer to Hollywood), it’s both a cost and time efficient alternative to LAX. photo credit: Atomic Taco via photopin cc

 

Long Beach Airport



Long Beach Airport

photo credit: Atomic Taco via photopin cc GB, Long Beach: Little Long Beach had the fewest flights in 2011, with 8,679 flights versus next closest ONT’s 13,146 and only .55% of those flights were canceled. Not bad for a small fry! LGB struggles with on-time departures, with the average departure delay at 8 minutes, second only to LAX. Weather is the imiting factor here, with 11% of flights getting held up by mother nature. LGB is essentially the opposite of Burbank: your flight probably won’t be cancelled, but chances are, you’re going to run a little late. Jet Blue made Long Beach its California hub, which means it’s a budget friendly option-- if you have a little extra time to spare.

 

John Wayne’s Statue at SNA



John Waynes Statue at SNA

photo credit: Marcin Wichary via photopin cc SNA, Santa Anna: Orange County’s John Wayne Airport saw 23,000 flights in 2011. It’s the largest of LA’s smallest airports (LAX dwarfs them all with 130,000 flights in 2011) but that’s pretty much all it has going for it. SNA is mediocre in all categories, with the second most flights cancelled (1.29%) and the second worst on time departure percentage (85%). It is middle of the pack in delays too - 11.67% of flights were held up by weather, and an average delay of 8.2 minutes on late flights.

 

 

LAX



LAX

photo credit: ATOMIC Hot Links via photopin cc AX, Los Angeles: LAX is humongous and among the most heavily trafficed airports in the US, and thus obviously faces a huge array of logistical issues that smaller airports don’t have to tackle. Still, it ranks pretty poorly in all the categories we analyzed. Although, LAX had the second best cancellation percentage (only .95% of flights were cancelled in 2011.) However, it ranked at the bottom in percent of flights delayed by weather (17%), on time departure percentage (83%) and average departure delay (10 minutes). If you’re not flying internationally, we’d suggest avoiding LAX and choosing any of the smaller airports, if only so you get out on time!

Read more from Hopper:

The 15 Worst Airports in America Right Now

California’s National Parks

LA/Ontario Airport

LA Regional Airports

 

 

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