I just came across this nifty little site: AvoidDelays.com. It compiles a monthly list of the airports with the most delays, as well as the worst times to fly into each, and perhaps even more beautifully, it includes the top 10 most delayed flights. You can even browse through each airline’s most delayed flights–and make sure you don’t book one of these flights from hell.
I saw that the three airports I use the most–Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK, all made the top 10 list, coming in first, third, and ninth, respectively. Yay. I guess? And the worst times for these airports, as well as several of the other ones, seem to be around 7 pm. I’ve found that if you can just delay your arrival to after 10 pm for these three airports, the headaches and squeeze from all the traffic dramatically decreases. Of course, you don’t want to do this at other airports such as Miami, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco, where the 10-11 pm slot is exactly the time range you want to avoid.
While we’re on the subject of flight delays, you can get real-time info direct from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on flight delays, sorted by region or airport, here. They have a nice map of the US color-coded with delays, broken down by severity. For the even more hardcore, there’s FlightStats.com, which does an even better job of showing you delays around the country in real-time.