Airports to avoid when you’re flying domestically for business


Ever wondered which airports or airlines you should avoid? Well, finder.com.au has done the hard yards for you. We’ve analysed Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economic (BITRE) data since 2010 to find the airports, airlines and months with the highest chance of a delay.

Most cancelled airports

Karratha Airport in the north of Western Australia has seen the most flight cancellations since 2010. In fact, of the 51,320 departures, 1,782 have been cancelled. In second place came Gladstone, and in third place was Canberra, with a cancellation rate of 2.7%. That makes it the the most cancelled major domestic airport in Australia. On the other end of the spectrum is Darwin, which has cancellation rate of just 0.54%.

Most cancelled airline carriers

QantasLink had the highest rate of cancellations by far, with a rate of 2.3% – 30,617 flights in total. Jetstar came in second place, and Virgin Australia in third. The lowest-ranked airlines were Regional Express and Qantas, as well as Tigerair Australia, which all had a cancellation rate of under 2%. 

Most cancelled months

It’s no secret that business travellers tend to fly either fairly early in the morning or late in the evening. Unfortunately during the colder months this can be risky considering the high numbers of flight cancellations and delays due to weather. June and July are the two most cancelled months of the year.

Tips for being getting there on time

Although weather is a big factor, flights can be cancelled for many reasons. These can include mechanical issues, a lack of bookings or crew shortages. To avoid having your flight cancelled during a vital business trip, consider these preventative measures:

  • Book a time you know will be busy. This ensures your flight won’t be forfeited as a result of seat vacancies. Early morning flights are generally full, as are those leaving between 5pm and 7pm.
  • Check the weather ahead of time. If you’re booking a domestic trip close to your travel date and can see the forecast, try to avoid days or times where storms or extreme winds are predicted.
  • Fly with reliable airlines. Choosing airlines that are consistently good is a safe bet when you’re flying domestically.

What if you’re facing a delay?

Travellers concerned about flight cancellations and their knock-on effects (such as missed accommodation or cancelled events) should take out travel insurance. It’s also important to know your rights in the event of a cancellation. Essentially, it’s up to your airline to provide you with compensation if your flight has been cancelled or delayed for no foreseeable reason or without warning. This is also the case in the event of a strike. Travel insurance will also provide compensation for cancelled flights, but usually will only cover the missed accommodation or other costs as a result – not the actual flight itself.

Ultimately, all airlines, airports and times of the year are going to see flight issues – it’s just a matter of booking smart to ensure you get the best possible time with the lowest chance of cancellation!


About the author

Bessie Hassan is the Travel Expert at financial comparison website finder.com.au.