Worst Ranked Airports for Summer Travel

Traveling this summer? Here's what to expect for travel disruptions & tips for how to prepare.

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Hayley Berg - Wed Jun 07 2023

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Memorial Day is behind us and the busy summer travel season is officially underway. In fact, this past Memorial Day Weekend, the TSA screened the highest volume of passengers since prior to the pandemic – with nearly 10 million passengers flying over the holiday weekend!

For those jet setting this summer, the expert team at Hopper has ranked the worst airports for summer travel – and what travelers should know before they take to the skies. 


  • Amsterdam (AMS), London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris (CDG) are the busiest airports in Europe. Last summer they saw >45% of flights disrupted on departure. This spring disruption rates have recovered to 30% - 35%, but remain high. 

  • London and Paris to NYC remain the busiest routes from Europe to the US.

  • Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD) and Dallas (DFW) are the busiest airports in the U.S. Last summer they saw over 25% of flights disrupted on departure. 

  • Chicago (MDW), Baltimore (BWI) and Newark (EWR) were the most disrupted US airports last summer.

Busiest Airports Expected for Summer 2023:

Most Disrupted Airports Expected for Summer 2023:

Busiest & Most Disrupted Routes from Europe to the US:

Summer Travel Tips:

Travel is expected to be busy this summer season, particularly to international destinations. And it's coming at a cost. Airfares to Europe are up 26% from 2019 prices and flight prices to Asia are 69% higher compared to pre-pandemic prices. Those Americans traveling this summer will want to get their money’s worth and arrive at their destinations on time. Here are some tips to get you on your way and traveling smoothly this summer!

  1. Add Trip Protection: For the busy summer months especially, it's a smart idea to add trip protection to your travel plans. Hopper offers Flight Disruption Guarantee which allows you to rebook a new flight immediately, regardless of carrier, if you’re delayed, canceled by the airline or you miss a connection. This is a foolproof way to ensure you get to your destination as quickly as possible, if your trip gets disrupted!

  2. Take the first flight of the day: In general, flights departing after 9am are 2X more likely to be delayed than departures scheduled between 5-8am. To avoid travel disruption, fly as early in the morning as possible.

  3. Book with flexibility: With recent disruptions at the airport, travelers may want to consider adding extra flexibility to their upcoming travel plans in case they want to make last minute changes. Travelers should take advantage of plans like Cancel for Any Reason or Change for Any Reason available on the Hopper app. With these plans, Hopper pays the difference to the airline if you make changes or cancel your trip all together - with no additional cost to the traveler.

  4. Build in a buffer day: Don’t leave it to chance! Particularly for big events or major trips, it's always better to be safe by baking in an extra day to get to your destination. This way you’ll have some wiggle room, should any delays or disruptions interfere with your travel plans. 

  5. Sign up for alerts & check flight status before you go to the airport: You’ll want to know about delays and cancellations as early as possible. On most U.S. carriers, passengers can sign up for text, email, and/or in-app notifications about any changes to their itinerary including delay and cancellations.

  6. Know what options you have available: Know what other flights are headed to your destination the same day as your trip in case you’re disrupted and need to get on another flight. Be sure to check airline policies, many carriers will waive change fees if there is a weather advisory or give compensation/travel credit if your flight is canceled within a few hours of departure.

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