TIME advice

The Best and Worst Airports for Flight Delays in America

Airport terminal
Jeff Greenberg/Alamy

Flight delays are on the rise at airports across the nation. Learn where you’re most likely to get stuck at the gate—and how to boost your odds of taking off on time

A word of advice for anyone who dreads being stuck in the purgatory of an airport terminal, gazing wistfully at the departures screen: avoid Chicago.

We analyzed data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for 29 major U.S. airports to highlight which have experienced the least and most delayed departures over a 12-month period (July 2013 to June 2014). And both of the Windy City’s major hubs are among the worst offenders.

At Chicago’s Midway International Airport, one in three planes left behind schedule, earning it the title of tardiest airport—for a second year in a row. Nearby O’Hare International Airport landed at No. 4, with more than a quarter of its flights running late.

At the other end of the spectrum, Salt Lake City International held on to its No. 1 spot as the most punctual of American airports, with less than 13 percent of departures behind schedule.

Airports, admittedly, are largely at the mercy of air traffic control and weather when it comes to delays, says aviation consultant Mike Boyd. “The airport itself has really no control whatsoever on reducing delays,” Boyd says. “They care, but they can’t do anything.”

Nor can you always control which airports you fly through. Yet you can plan your travel in a way that lessens your chance of sitting at the gate. For each airport, we identified the time of day to depart. Hint: the times to avoid are often in the afternoon and evening, thanks to the domino effect of cascading delays. “An earlier flight always makes more sense than a later flight,” Boyd says. “But that’s still not a guarantee.”

To find out your odds, see where San Francisco, Dulles, Orlando, and other major hubs rank among the best and worst airports for avoiding delays.

Best: No. 1 Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

Flights Delayed: 12.9%

This Delta hub retained the top spot for punctuality for the fifth time since 2008, despite a 1.2 percent uptick in delays year over year. More than 90 percent of flights depart on time for 12 hours each day at SLC. Just avoid the dinnertime twilight zone, when nearly a third fall behind schedule.

Best Time Window: 6–10 a.m.

Worst Time Window: 6–8 p.m.

Best: No. 2 Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

Flights Delayed: 14.3%

Up three spots from last year, the oldest airport serving the nation’s capital is also the one least likely to keep you there longer than planned. While the other two D.C.-area gateways both rated among the worst for delays (BWI at second worst and Dulles at eighth worst), DCA posted an on-time score better than 85 percent.

Best Time Window: Before 1 p.m.

Worst Time Window: 8–10 p.m.

Best: No. 3 (tie) Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Flights Delayed: 14.6%

Although delays increased by 1.5 percentage points compared to last year, Sea-Tac still held on to its third-place position. Just over 40 percent of the airport’s total passengers arrive and depart via Alaska Airlines, which operates its primary hub here—and was recently rated the second-best airline for avoiding flight delays.

Best Time Window: Before 11 a.m.

Worst Time Window: 4–5 p.m.

Best: No. 3 (tie) Portland International Airport (PDX)

Flights Delayed: 14.6%

A 2.1 percent bump in delays cost PDX the No. 2 ranking that it’s owned for six previous years. But the airport—which introduced in-line baggage screening in 2010—still managed an on-time percentage of 90 percent or higher for half of each day. It has also won praise for its food selection and free Wi-Fi.

Best Time Window: Before 11 a.m.

Worst Time Window: 2–3 p.m.

Best: No. 5 Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP)

Flights Delayed: 15.6%

One of three Delta hubs among the 10 most punctual airports, MSP transports nearly half of its passengers via the legacy carrier, which holds the title of best major airline for avoiding flight delays. Travelers will appreciate MSP’s consistency; its percentage of on-time departures dips below 80 percent for only four hours daily.

Best Time Window: Before noon.

Worst Time Window: 6–7 p.m.

Read the full list HERE.

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TIME celebrity

See How 11 Celebrities Dressed Up for Halloween

And you thought you had a wild night

Dressing up for Halloween isn’t just for the rest of us. From Kim Kardashian to Justin Bieber, celebrities dressed up as characters spooky, silly and sassy on Friday. And then they dutifully posted photos of themselves on their Instagram accounts.

The best costume award goes to Heidi Klum, though, who dressed as an extremely detailed butterfly. It’s creepy and beautiful at the same time. Check out her and 10 other celebrities’ attire below.


Taylor Swift

Justin Bieber

Zach Braff

Kim Kardashian

Lance Bass

Paris Hilton

Katy Perry

Jessica Alba

Hilary Duff

Heidi Klum

TIME celebrity

See Neil Patrick Harris and Family Dressed Up As Batman Characters

Time to go trick or treating!

No one loves a costume like a celebrity, and Neil Patrick Harris is no exception. Harris and his husband David Burtka dressed as the Batman villains, the Riddler and the Joker, while their son Gideon is dressed as Batman and daughter Harper appears to be Catwoman.

But despite all the preparation, Harris still couldn’t satisfy his 4-year-old kids’ eagerness to get out and do some trick-or-treating.

TIME society

Inside the First-Ever Hello Kitty Convention

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Sanrio character

Embrace your inner child, hug the Hello Kitty plush on your bed, and check out photos from the first-ever Hello Kitty Convention at The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles (Oct. 30 to Nov. 2). The highly anticipated event is pegged to the character’s 40th anniversary—her birthday is November 1!—and an exhibit on Hello Kitty at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), on display through April 26, 2015.

MORE: Hello Kitty Exhibit to Open in L.A.

WATCH: Avril Lavigne Tear Up Tokyo for “Hello Kitty” Video

MORE: Apparently Hello Kitty is a Human Girl, Not a Cat

TIME Body Image

Thousands of People Want Victoria’s Secret to Apologize for ‘Perfect Body’ Ad

But can it make a difference?

More than 16,000 people have signed a U.K. petition asking Victoria’s Secret to apologize for an “irresponsible,” “body-shaming” ad.

The lingerie company sparked outrage for a new campaign celebrating “The Perfect ‘Body.'” The ad copy is a riff on the brand’s “Body” lingerie line, but since the slogan hovers above the supermodels’ bodies, people say it sends the wrong message.

Dear Kate, an underwear company “made by women for women,” insists that the lingerie industry as a whole can and should do better. “As if women need a reminder of our society’s homogenous definition of beauty, the ad features ten models with almost identical body shapes,” its website reads. “The creators of the ad probably didn’t think twice about the message it is sending, and to us, it’s irresponsible marketing.”

Here is Dear Kate’s alternative:

But can the petition incite change? Petition writers Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides and Laura Ferris note that “we have yet to hear a single word from Victoria’s Secret! It can’t be much longer until they listen up and realise that they have some apologising to do.”

Victoria’s Secret did not reply to TIME’s request for comment.

But the “Perfect Body” campaign is in line with past marketing efforts. Victoria Secret’s previous “Love Your Body” campaign (which also incited backlash) provides a stark contrast to companies like Dove’s take on promoting an ideal body image.

Some companies just prefer companies opt to promote “perfect bodies” rather than “real beauty.”

TIME World

This Stunning Drone Footage of Island Surfers Will Make You Desperately Want a Vacation

Taken in Indonesia's gorgeous Mentawai Islands

Can’t take a vacation right now, because of silly obstacles like your job or money or your kids or fear of flying? Well, this video is kind of like a little vacation in itself.

It features drone footage captured in the gorgeous Mentawai Islands of Indonesia and comes complete with soothing but upbeat music. So grab your headphones and allow yourself a five-minute escape from it all.

(h/t Boing Boing)

TIME society

How the Average American Man’s Body Compares to Others Around The World

"When you look at the images side-by-side, you can really see the differences"

Pittsburgh-based digital artist Nickolay Lamm was on vacation in Catalonia, Spain, last year when he noticed something. “I think I’m being objective when I say that a lot of the people were just very fit,” he says. At least more fit than what he saw back home. And so Lamm decided to dive into body measurement statistics collected by organizations like the CDC to create models that represent the physique of the average man from different countries.

“Basically, I wanted to represent how we as a country are a little overweight when it comes to other countries,” he says. “Obesity is a huge issue, it costs our health care industry so much money, so I just wanted to create a simple way to illustrate something people probably know in the back of their minds, they just haven’t seen it all laid out so clearly.”

Nickolay Lamm

While the images first went public last year, they are making their rounds online again — right in time for Halloween. (A time when body image is at the back of people’s minds.)

Nickolay Lamm

“When you look at the images side-by-side, you can really see the differences,” Lamm says.

Nickolay Lamm
Nickolay Lamm
Nickolay Lamm

Lamm doesn’t know why exactly these images resonate with an audience, but people always seem surprised. “We see all these numbers and statistics,” he says, “but sometimes we just want to see it laid out.”

Nickolay Lamm

The artist is perhaps best known for creating the anti-Barbie. The soon-be-released Lammily doll is based on the average American woman’s proportions, rather than unattainable measurements that would make it hard for a real woman to walk or even just exist. He also hopes to create a male version of the doll after the product goes to market.

Lamm does note that scrutiny regarding body image is often directed toward women rather than men. “It’s interesting, I remember I was at a bar once and guys were comparing all the other women, but they kind of look like the images I made,” he says. “Who are we to judge when we aren’t looking perfect either.”

TIME celebrity

Here’s What Blue Ivy Is Wearing For Halloween

Jay-Z, Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California.
Jay-Z, Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Beyonce and Jay-Z dressed their two-year-old daughter as Michael Jackson

The media can’t resist a celebrity in a costume on Halloween, and Blue Ivy is no exception. Beyonce and Jay-Z dressed their two-year-old daughter as Michael Jackson to celebrate the holiday.

Keeping with the theme, Beyonce went as Janet Jackson.

Not be outdone, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West dressed their young daughter North West up in a skunk costume. Of course, Kim documented the occasion on her Instagram account.

TIME celebrity

Today Was a Fairytale for Taylor Swift, Who Dressed as a Winged Unicorn for Halloween

Taylor Swift Visits "The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show"
Taylor Swift visits "The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show" at Z100 Studio on October 31, 2014 in New York City. Kevin Mazur— Getty Images

Or as she calls it, a pegacorn

Katy Perry may have won Halloween with her Cheeto costume, but Taylor Swift’s get-up is pretty good too. She dressed as a winged unicorn, or as she called it in an Instagram post, a “pegacorn.” For those who don’t know, pegacorn is a portmanteau of “pegasus” and “unicorn.”

Tay-Tay’s been super busy this week, so props to her for still finding the time to dress up and celebrate the holiday. We can only assume she also found time to bake some Halloween-themed goodies for her besties.

TIME Crime

Subway Robbery Suspect Said ‘Jared’ Diet Failed

Zachary Torrance says he didn’t lose weight

The man suspected of robbing a string of Subway sandwich shops in Alabama told authorities he did it because the “Jared diet” didn’t work for him, and he wanted his money back.

Jared is the name of a man who became a spokesperson for Subway after he purportedly lost a significant amount of weight by going on a diet consisting solely of fare from the sandwich chain.

Zachary Torrance, 18, was arrested at a Hueytown, Alabama, Walmart, after a citizen matched his face to surveillance footage. Torrance is suspected in Subway store robberies in Birmingham, Midfield and Adamsville, WVTM Birmingham reports.


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