Flying for the holidays? These airlines are worst for cancellations

If you’re flying to visit family and friends for the holidays, you may want to check the holiday flight cancellation record for your air carrier.

Regional airline flights were three times as likely to be canceled during the holidays than large airlines, according to a recent survey of U.S. Department of Transportation data by MileCards.com.

Two girls play with dolls on the floor as their parents wait to board Thanksgiving flights at the Salt Lake City international Airport. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Two girls play with dolls on the floor as their parents wait to board Thanksgiving flights at the Salt Lake City international Airport. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

» RELATED: Canceled flights at an all-time low, feds say

The travel website looked at canceled flights during Thanksgiving and December at the 50 busiest U.S. airports from 2010-2015 and found that more than 3 percent of regional flights were canceled, compared to about 1 percent of flights via large airlines.

Spirit Airlines and JetBlue ranked at the top of the list for most holiday flight cancellations among commercial airlines, with 2.3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Delta had the best holiday flight cancellation record among large airlines, the study found.

The site also found that flights booked around the December holidays are five times more likely to be canceled than Thanksgiving flights.

The report follows news from the DOT earlier this week that September 2016 marked an all-time low for the number of canceled flights.

» RELATED: 9 tips to help make your holiday air travel more safe

 

Want to fly to Havana? U.S. announces airlines that can take you there

The hotel Nacional is seen in Havana, Cuba.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The hotel Nacional is seen in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On the same day JetBlue made history with the first regularly scheduled commercial airline flight to Cuba in more than 50 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the eight airlines given final approval to fly to the island nation’s capital.

Until Wednesday, several airlines had received approval to fly to Cuban cities not including Havana. The JetBlue flight that took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday morning was heading to Santa Clara, about three hours from Havana.

Now JetBlue, along with seven other carriers, have the final OK from the U.S. government to seek approval from Cuba to finalize flight schedules and destinations.

Here is the full list of airlines, along with their proposed routes and frequency:

• Alaska Airlines — Los Angeles, once daily

• American Airlines — Miami, four times a day; Charlotte, once daily

• Delta Air Lines — New York (JFK), once daily; Atlanta, once daily; Miami, once daily

• Frontier Airlines — Miami, once daily

• JetBlue Airways — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily (except once on Saturdays); New York (JFK), once daily; Orlando, once daily

• Southwest Airlines — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily; Tampa, once daily

• Spirit Airlines — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily

• United Airlines — Newark, once daily; Houston, once weekly (Saturdays)

The decision by the Department of Transportation places Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as one of the top airports serving Cuba, with about 40 flights daily just to Havana.

Marking the departure of JetBlue’s first commercial flight to Cuba on Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale airport CEO and Director Mark Gale said the number of flights to Cuba out of the airport is a “testament to the reputation of Fort Lauderdale.”

Stacy Ritter, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, called Wednesday’s flight to Cuba “a milestone.”

“To be the first in something so historic is truly astounding,” she said.

Read more about travel to Cuba — including what you need to do if you want to go.