San Antonio International Airport relaxes into rating as the 5th least stressful U.S. airport
With the holiday season just around the corner, flight traffic is about to get even busier nationwide. Lucky for San Antonio, locals can sleep tight the night before their flights, knowing they live in a city with one of the most reliable airports in the U.S.
San Antonio International Airport (SAT) ranked No. 5 in the 2023 MarketWatch study examining the 45 best and worst airports for stress-free travel. Factors that helped determine SAT's rank include the percentage of delayed flights and cancelled flights as of 2022, the average cost of airfare in 2023, and the average security wait times.
The most recent Bureau of Transportation data from 2022 says a vast majority of flights out of San Antonio left on time, with only 17 percent of flights getting delayed. In the analysis of flight cancellations, a mere 2.4 percent of SAT flights got cancelled as of last year.
The airport with the highest percentage of delayed flights is Chicago Midway International Airport (No. 26), with a staggering 36 percent of flights delayed as of 2022. La Guardia Airport (No. 43) in New York had the highest percentage of cancelled flights at 5.4 percent.
In order to avoid the possible headaches from delayed or cancelled flights, Miss Tourist blog founder Yulia Saf recommends passengers purchase travel insurance.
"[Travel insurance] offers a security blanket against unpredictable flight dynamics and unexpected expenses," Saf said in the report. "As a frequent flier, it has not just saved me financially, but the peace of mind it provides is priceless."
Besides having a flight get delayed or cancelled, waiting to get through TSA lines is another stress-inducing part of airport travel. However, SAT is renowned for having short wait times, and MarketWatch says the average security wait time is about 12 minutes.
That's much better than the 45 minutes a traveler would spend at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (No. 19), which had the highest average security wait times out of all airports analyzed in the report.
As for airfare pricing, the average flight in San Antonio costs about $390, which includes both one-way and round-trip domestic flights. The airport with the lowest flight costs is Orlando Sanford International Airport (No. 9 overall) with flights averaging about $148, while travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport (No. 28) pay an average of $495 for their flights.
The top 5 most reliable airports, according to MarketWatch, are:
- No. 1 – Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
- No. 2 – San Jose International Airport
- No. 3 – Fresno Yosemite International Airport
- No. 4 – Sacramento International Airport
- No. 5 – San Antonio International Airport
Even as SAT shatters records for the busiest flight traffic this year, that doesn't seem to be putting a strain on the airport's overall performance. Most recently, SAT broke another passenger traffic record for the Labor Day weekend. About 160,000 travelers flew in and out of SAT throughout the holiday period, which is a 10 percent increase from 2022 and a 13 percent more than 2019.
In a release celebrating the airport's rank in the study, San Antonio Airport System (SAAS) Director of Airports Jesus Saenz said more travelers are flying through SAT thanks to its dedication to providing stress-free experiences.
"We’re setting record after record this year,” said Saenz. “Travelers are excited to visit the Alamo City and our community values SAT to travel elsewhere. They know we will get them there and it will be smooth.”
The full report can be found on marketwatch.com.