These Texas airports have the highest flight cancellation rate in the country, study finds

If you book a flight out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport or Dallas Love Field, there’s a good chance it could get canceled. A new study found that the two airports ranked among the top 20 in the U.S with the highest cancellation rates in 2023.

Experts say while travel insurance can’t prevent issues at the airport — it can make dealing with them less stressful. People who have it can get reimbursement benefits for travel delay, missed connection, trip interruption, and lost baggage.

“Travel Delay coverage is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel for a certain number of hours,” said Meghan Walch of InsureMyTrip. “Trip Interruption provides travelers reimbursement of their unused portion of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs in the event your trip is extended due to unforeseen circumstances.”

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If your itinerary includes paying for a flight, know that most flight cancellations are cause by the weather — including freezing conditions in the winter or extreme heat in the summer — according to the Federal Aviation Administration website. These delays are most prevalent in the summer months.

If a flight is delayed three hours or longer, for example, and you miss the departure of a cruise or tour, you’ll be covered by the missed connection benefit. Purchases made for essentials while waiting for baggage to arrive will also be reimbursed if your luggage is delayed.

In terms of reimbursement — travelers must file a claim upon returning from a trip, Walch said. The claim could take a few months to process so you should file as soon as possible.

“Be sure to keep all relevant documents related to the claim like receipts and itemized bills for all expenses,” Walch said. “You should keep unused travel tickets and proof of payment for those tickets, police report for any stolen items, and proof from the airline that your baggage was lost or delayed as well.”

Walch says It’s also important to note that where you purchase travel protection matters.

“Airlines,cruise lines, booking sites, and credit cards all offer some kind of trip protection but this coverage may be limited. You will likely find more robust coverage through a third-party provider often at a lower price.”

Walch says airlines are not required by law to provide a certain kind of compensation or reimbursement if a flight is delayed — especially if it is for a reason beyond their control, like the weather. While most do provide something, it may not be to the extent you are expecting so know what your airline offers before heading to the airport.

InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance comparison site that helps travelers find the best provider and plan for their trip at a price they can afford. Here are a few of their tips for flying:

  • Fly Direct — If you have a layover and your first flight is delayed or canceled it can have a ripple effect on your travel plans. You may miss the layover and it can cause a logistical nightmare. Flying direct can help you avoid that issue. If you must book a layover, give yourself some breathing room — so even if your first flight is delayed you can still make it on your second.

  • Be Informed — Know your airline’s delay/cancellation policy to determine what compensation you are entitled to if a flight is canceled or delayed. Also know your airport’s delay and cancellation record. If you have a couple of options for airports to fly out of — choose the one with the better “on-time” record!

  • Pack only a carry-on — This will ensure your luggage makes it to your destination and will help you avoid the long line of people checking a bag.

  • Plan Ahead — Buy a plane ticket MONTHS before a trip to get the cheapest price possible. Also, download your airline’s app and check your flight status before heading to the airport. Checking in ahead of time to avoid the long lines at the airline desk and go right to security. Signing up for TSA pre-check will help you avoid long security lines.

American Airlines planes are seen at the gates of Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
American Airlines planes are seen at the gates of Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
The status board inside the concourse at Dallas Love Field Airport Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, still showed quite a few flights canceled.
The status board inside the concourse at Dallas Love Field Airport Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, still showed quite a few flights canceled.

Top 20 airports with the highest cancellation rates

Data from 2023:

  1. EWR – Newark Liberty International

  2. LGA – LaGuardia Airport

  3. JFK – JFK International

  4. ORF – Norfolk International

  5. BUF – Buffalo Niagara International

  6. BOS – Logan International

  7. FLL – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International

  8. DFW – Dallas Fort Worth International

  9. DAL – Dallas Love Field

  10. RIC – Richmond International

  11. MEM – Memphis International

  12. MKE – Milwaukee Mitchell International

  13. DEN – Denver International

  14. DCA – Ronald Reagan Washington National

  15. BUR – Hollywood Burbank Airport

  16. CLE – Cleveland Hopkins International

  17. MDW – Chicago Midway International

  18. RDU – Raleigh-Durham International

  19. TPA – Tampa International

  20. MCO – Orlando International