Worst airports for winter travel

In an effort to help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to winter travel plans, Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams reveal what airports and flights to avoid and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

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Hopper and InsureMyTrip research predicts worst airports for winter travel, compares travel insurance benefits

In an effort to help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to winter travel plans, Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams reveal what airports and flights to avoid and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

Travel Delay Benefit

While InsureMyTrip estimates 80% of travel insurance consumers purchase a comprehensive policy, travelers can make smarter choices about their travel insurance purchase based on the data results provided by Hopper. For example, passengers with departing flights at busier airports are more likely to utilize a travel delay benefit and, therefore, may want to compare travel insurance policies with better delay protection.

“Our data indicates that when travelers are made aware of the probability of delays, they are more likely to compare and buy travel delay benefits during a purchase,” says Melissa Caldarone, data analyst at InsureMyTrip.

“For example, this appears to be the case in the state of Illinois where Chicago O’Hare Airport experiences the largest percentage of delays in the country during winter months (source: Hopper). Around the same time, our research indicates that travel insurance usage from Illinois residents goes up. This correlation may suggest that Illinois-based travelers have come to expect airport lag time and have adjusted their behavior to include proper insurance protection as part of their trip planning process,” says Caldarone.

Travel delay benefits vary with each travel insurance provider, generally between a 5 and 24-hour window. The benefit is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel.

Tip: Travelers must be delayed for a certain number of hours before this benefit can be applied. When comparing travel insurance, look for the minimum delay time (typically, starting at 5 hours) to start qualifying for coverage as soon as possible.

Missed Connection Benefit

For those concerned about a delayed flight adversely affecting a cruise or tour departure, travelers may also want to ensure a missed connection benefit is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. This benefit is designed to provide travelers with coverage if a delayed flight (for example, of 3 hours or more) causes a traveler to miss a cruise departure.

In addition to travel delay benefits, travelers can also use data to help compare the following benefits available under comprehensive travel insurance plans:

• Trip Cancellation
• Trip Interruption
• Baggage Delay
• Cancel For Any Reason
Comprehensive travel insurance provides a variety of benefits including medical coverage, emergency travel services, baggage protection, and trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

Tip: Florida airports tend to be very busy during cruise season, so plan for delays.

Busy Airports For Winter Travel

Hopper analyzed this year’s data to determine the most popular airports during the winter months. The data revealed the following trends:

• Avoid O’Hare in Chicago! 42% of flights are delayed at O’Hare during the winter
• Chicago, Newark, Denver, and Fort Lauderdale have more than a third of flights delayed during winter months
• Airports in warm areas like Florida can also be impacted by winter storm delays in other places, due to their popularity during the season
• If you’re flying out of New York, you’re less likely to be delayed if you fly out of JFK or LaGuardia instead of Newark
• Hawaii is your best bet for uneventful winter travel

This is the percentage of delayed flights at the following airports:

Chicago, ORD 42%
Fort Lauderdale, FLL 38%
Newark, EWR 37%
Denver, DEN 37%
Dallas-Fort Worth, DFW 32%
Tampa, TPA 32%
New York, LGA 31%
Orlando, MCO 31%
Fort Myers, RSW 31%
New York, JFK 30%

Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes billions of trips per day. Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market. The flight delay data comes from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics figures on airport delays (http://www.transtats.bts.gov/).

*Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) Update: While Fort Lauderdale was delay prone last year, the airport was a “one runway” airport. On September 18, 2014 the airport commissioned a new commercial runway. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport now has dual parallel runways and representatives state that the airport should not experience the delays of the past unless, of course, it is impacted by weather.

About InsureMyTrip:

InsureMyTrip is the leading online travel insurance comparison site featuring top products from the most trusted providers in the industry. A trusted resource that serves millions of customers worldwide, licensed insurance agents at InsureMyTrip help travelers find the right insurance plan. Referenced as a helpful website by U.S. Federal Consumer Information Center and featured by Consumer Reports, InsureMyTrip offers one of the industry’s largest customer ratings and reviews forum and a unique customer advocacy program that provides one-on-one assistance to travelers before, during, and after their trip. Established in 2000, InsureMyTrip is a division of IMT Services Corporation and headquartered in Warwick, R.I., with additional offices and data centers in Connecticut and Oregon. Winner of the Bronze Stevie Award (2014) in Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats) – Financial Services Industries category. For more information on InsureMyTrip, please visit http://www.insuremytrip.com.

About Hopper:

Hopper is the travel planning site dedicated to helping travelers make better decisions about where to go and when to fly and buy by providing insightful data-driven research. Hopper uses data sets comprising billions of flight prices to help travelers find the right destination for their budget and feel confident they’re getting the best deal possible. Hopper was founded in 2007, and is based in Boston and Montreal. Hopper is backed by Brightspark, Atlas Venture, and OMERS Ventures. For more information about Hopper, visit http://www.hopper.com/.

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