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Where Texas' major airports land among best and worst for holiday delays

Where Texas' top airports land among best and worst for holiday delays

George Bush Intercontinental Terminal IAH
Bush Intercontinental is not where you want to be during a holiday delay. Photo courtesy of Houston Airport System

If your holiday travels have you stopping at a major Texas airport, you're better off flying through Dallas-Fort Worth than Houston. 

Examining the 15 busiest airports in the country, travel website Orbitz ranked DFW Airport as the seventh best airport to be stuck at if your flight’s delayed during the holiday rush. By comparison, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport appeared at No. 13 on the Orbitz list — two spots from the bottom.

The website used these categories for its ranking: shopping, dining, Wi-Fi, on-time departures, flight cancellations, member lounges, and public lounges. At DFW, 82.41 percent of flights leave on time, and 1.54 percent are canceled. At Bush Intercontinental, 83.22 percent of flights depart on time, however, almost 3 percent never take off.  

A study released earlier this year by market research company J.D. Power rated DFW Airport as the fifth best major airport in North America, based on input from more than 40,000 North American travelers. Bush Intercontinental showed up at No. 7 in the major-airport category. Among large airports, Dallas Love Field landed at No. 2, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport ranked No. 9, and Houston’s Hobby Airport came in at No. 10.

Cynthia Vega, a spokeswoman for DFW Airport, says the airport works year-round to ensure travelers enjoy a high-flying experience. It does that by, among other things, providing such amenities as yoga studios and a walking path, online booking for parking, food ordering via the airport's mobile app, and "world-class" dining and shopping.

And, during the holidays, “customers should also be on the lookout for special treats as they journey through DFW, with surprises planned that include everything from holiday performances to special gifts,” Vega says. 

While Houston’s two airports didn’t fare as well as DFW and Love Field in the Orbitz and J.D. Power rankings, they did shine in this year’s ratings from Skytrax, which produces airline and airport reviews and rankings.

Houston is just the third city in the world and the only city in the U.S. with two airports that have earned a four- or five-star rating from Skytrax. In Skytrax’s 2018 ratings, Bush Intercontinental and Hobby both received four stars.