Oh, SFO: Why So Delayed? (And What's With the "O"?)

9 min
A aerial view of SFO. (Molly Samuel/KQED)

It might seem like everyone thinks their local airport is the worst of them all: the longest security lines, the worst food, the most delays.

But we in the Bay Area have good reason to complain. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2018 SFO was the third-most-delayed major airport in the U.S. in terms of arrivals, with about 26 percent of arriving flights delayed. And that’s not unique to last year. Since 2010, SFO has consistently ranked in the top four of the most delayed airports, some years dipping as low as 69 percent of flights arriving on-time.

Also, what's the deal with the 'O' in SFO?

Read the full web story on airport codes here: Why the 'O' in San Francisco's Airport Code, SFO?

Read the full web story on delays here: Why SFO Is Notorious For Delays


Reported by Maggie Galloway and Jessica Placzek
Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Maggie Galloway, Robert Speight, Katie McMurran, Paul Lancour and Ryan Levi. Additional support from Julie Caine, Suzie Racho, Ethan Lindsey, Pat Yollin and David Weir.

Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.

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