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Flying for Christmas? These airports get you there with fewest delays

Posted December 3, 2016

Arrival information at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Half the battle of ensuring a good holiday is simply getting to your destination. Because Christmas is one of the most popular holidays for travel, people trying to fly home or elsewhere often run into all sorts of delays and complications.

Even as airlines tweak the timing of thousands of flights and add redeyes, one delay in schedule or period of bad weather can derail millions of passengers' plans. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Holiday travel times, the number of long-distance trips increases during the Christmas/New Year's holiday period by 23 percent.

To help you better prepare for the chaos of holiday travels, Graphiq, a travel data site by WanderBat, determined the best airports to fly into on Christmas. To separate the best from the pack, the WanderBat team considered all flights that arrived Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year between 2010 and 2015.

They then complied a ranking of airports with the least delays during that time. Each airport is ordered by the percent of all flights during this two-day time span that had an arrival delay of 15 minutes or more. Airports needed at least 200 flights (on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) over the six-year period to be considered, so smaller airports were ruled out. About 19.64 percent of planes at the average airport are delayed -- all of the airports listed have a lower percentage of delayed flights.

How RDU rates

#37. Raleigh-Durham International (RDU)

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Raleigh/Durham, NC

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 16.47%
Average arrival delay time: 2.78 minutes

The top 20

#20. Santa Barbara Municipal (SBA)

Santa Barbara Municipal

Santa Barbara, CA

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 14.17%
Average arrival delay time: -.45 minutes

#19. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International

Phoenix, AZ

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 14.14%
Average arrival delay time: -.34 minutes

#18. Detroit Metro Wayne County (DTW)

Detroit Metro Wayne County

Detroit, MI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.91%
Average arrival delay time: .67 minutes

#17. Washington Dulles International (IAD)

Washington Dulles International

Washington, DC

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.87%
Average arrival delay time: -.90 minutes

#16. Bob Hope (BUR)

Bob Hope

Burbank, CA

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.84%
Average arrival delay time: 1.65 minutes

#15. Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)

CLT

Charlotte, NC

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.50%
Average arrival delay time: .44 minutes

#14. Seattle/Tacoma International (SEA)

Seattle/Tacoma International

Seattle, WA

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.31%
Average arrival delay time: -2.81 minutes

#13. Newark Liberty International (EWR)

takahi rock / Flickr

Newark, NJ

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 13.04%
Average arrival delay time: -5.24 minutes

#12. Chicago Midway International (MDW)

Ken Lund / Flickr

Chicago, IL

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 12.99%
Average arrival delay time: -2.19 minutes

#11. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI)

BWI

Baltimore, MD

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 12.80%
Average arrival delay time: -.69 minutes

#10. Theodore Francis Green State (PVD)

PVD

Providence, RI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 12.43%
Average arrival delay time: -2.18 minutes

#9. Logan International (BOS)

CaribDigita / Wikimedia Commons

Boston, MA

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 11.91%
Average arrival delay time: -4.15 minutes

#8. Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA)

Ronald Reagan Washington National

Washington, DC

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 11.81%
Average arrival delay time: -1.25 minutes

#7. Honolulu International (HNL)

Honolulu International

Honolulu, HI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 11.22%
Average arrival delay time: 1.99 minutes

#6. LaGuardia (LGA)

LGA

New York, NY

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 10.42%
Average arrival delay time: -6.35 minutes

#5. Ted Stevens Anchorage International (ANC)

Ted Stevens Anchorage International

Anchorage, AK

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 10.08%
Average arrival delay time: -5.74 minutes

#4. Kahului Airport (OGG)

Kahului Airport

Kahului, HI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 9.58%
Average arrival delay time: -.88 minutes

#3. Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA)

Kona International Airport at Keahole

Kona, HI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 9.14%
Average arrival delay time: 1.13 minutes

#2. Lihue Airport (LIH)

Lihue Airport

Lihue, HI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 9.07%
Average arrival delay time: .35 minutes

#1. Hilo International (ITO)

Hilo International

Hilo, HI

Percent of Christmas flights with an arrival delay of 15+ minutes: 6.33%
Average arrival delay time: 1.57 minutes

Research More Travel Information on WanderBat

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